It can be a fine line between enjoying a bit of fun when it comes to gambling, and it becoming harmful to you and those around you.

And with high profile events like the Euros taking place, gambling can increase hugely.

Therefore, our partners at PayPlan – one of the UK’s largest free debt advice providers – have shared some of the warning signs to look out for, and where to get help, in their latest advice blog:

How to spot if you or someone else is suffering from gambling harm

Gambling addiction can lead to devastating effects including financial pressures, job losses, relationship and family issues, and mental health impacts.

If you find yourself being preoccupied with your day focusing on betting, or you’re escaping away from situations to place a bet and hiding it from your friends and family, you may need some help – especially if you are chasing losses and heading into a situation of financial distress.

Others around you who may be suffering from gambling harm may be withdrawn, not sleeping as well as usual and struggling with their moods.

There may be signs of financial strain, and money may go missing with no explanation; they may also lie about their situation if you ask them to avoid embarrassment.

Tips to help you get your gambling under control

  • You can access website and phone blocking software such as Gamban and BetBlocker to block access to gambling websites and stop you from receiving marketing messages about gambling.
  • You can contact gambling businesses to ask to exclude you from messages and app notifications. On your online accounts you can also set limits to restrict your activity.
  • You can block gambling transactions through your bank, contact your banking provider for further information.
  • You can access a range of self-help resources from National Gambling Support Network. If you find your need additional help, you can contact them directly for support.
  • Talk to someone; a problem shared is a problem halved, and you may find the people around you can offer help and guidance to support you on your journey to reduce your gambling.

What to do if you’re struggling financially because of gambling

  • Take a look at your spending and complete a budget to see an overview of your finances.
  • If you can’t take a break from gambling, you can control your gambling spend by setting limits on your account and setting time restraints to keep your activity under control.
  • Check to see if you’re entitled to any benefits to bring in some further income using our benefits calculator.
  • Reach out for free debt advice.

What you can do next

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised, you can also contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 (available 24/7) or visit

If you are struggling to repay debts and feel like you need some support, you can also call PayPlan on 0800 072 1206, they’re open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 3pm on Saturdays.

Alternatively, you can visit to speak to them via live chat or for more information.

Support available through Fire Fighters Charity

We have online courses on gambling available for you to try, ranging from shorter Bitesize courses, to longer, in-depth six-week ones. You can explore those here.

Our Welfare Team are also available to help offer advice, guidance, signposting and support. If you feel you’d benefit from our help, you can call our Support Line on 0800 3898820.

Online courses