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Paying debts

When gamblers start to lose more and more money and pile up gambling debts, they often fall into the trap of borrowing to keep on playing. Despite losing increasing amounts, they keep hoping that striking the jackpot will help them pay off their debts.

Unfortunately, they never win enough, and their debts continue to rise. Here are a few tips to help.

Put a stop to the financial drain
Whether your debts are small or large, you have to end the vicious cycle of borrowing. Remember that no situation is hopeless—there is always a way out. Worrying and panicking about your finances will not help, and can actually trigger a relapse.

Here is what to do when you are carrying too much debt:

  • Stop gambling (and never gamble to try to pay off your debts)
  • Take responsibility for your debt—contact a credit counselling service or bankruptcy trustee
  • Make a proposal to your creditors and pledge to repay a portion of your outstanding debts—this will be your first step to winning back your self-esteem
  • Take a part-time job if necessary to repay the debts—this will occupy your free time and help keep you focused
  • Talk about your problem to someone supportive and trustworthy
  • Ask someone completely trustworthy to look after your bank and credit cards for a while
  • If necessary, cut up your credit cards
  • Protect your assets by transferring property titles and other assets into your spouse’s name
  • Limit your cash on hand by...
    • Having your pay automatically deposited into your bank account
    • Closing your chequing accounts and getting rid of debit cards
    • Using a bank account that requires two signatures for withdrawal
    • Setting daily withdrawal limits
  • Get professional help
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