Management of the finances

Excessive gambling is usually associated with a disturbed appreciation of the value of money. Because of this and the continued temptation to gamble, it is wise for the family finances to be controlled, at least for some time, by the spouse/partner or some trusted person. Regular income from wages or salaries should be paid into a bank account over which the spouse/partner or trusted person has sole control. As the period of abstinence from gambling continues, the person who has been gambling pathologically needs to become gradually involved in working jointly with whoever controls the finances.

In addition, there is a need to obtain a detailed statement of all the outstanding debts, as well as an inventory of the income and outgoings of the person seeking help and his or her family. In terms of this information, the person who has been gambling pathologically needs to be encouraged to draft a realistic plan of repayment. Since debts are often considerable, the repayments may have to continue over many years. This can obviously only be achieved by encouraging the person concerned to discuss the whole matter with the creditors involved. However, it is important that the repayments should be consistent with the person's regular income and circumstances. There is a considerable danger that in the first flush of enthusiasm, unrealistic repayments will be contemplated, which may result in temptations to gamble in order to maintain them.

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