Gamblers Anonymous Review

gambler anonymous review

Gambling addiction is a serious problem affecting thousands of people in the UK. Most players feel ashamed and unsure of how to overcome the issue that is consuming their social and financial well-being. One organisation helping punters to avert betting temptation is Gamblers Anonymous, a support group managed by people with gambling problems.

The recovery program offers in-person meetings for sharing experiences and finding advice, sponsorship programs that provide guidance, and access to online chat services handled by an experienced team. Gamblers Anonymous is a proven method for combating gambling addiction and can be the solution to your situation.

How Does Gamblers Anonymous Work?

Gamblers Anonymous offers several options, working to accommodate you by making you feel comfortable in your journey to regain control over gambling impulses. There is a methodology to the process, but nothing is rushed. We explain several of the activities within the program below.

  • 12 Steps Recovery Program:
    The 12-step program is a structured process created to help you admit to yourself, you have a problem, so you can start turning things around. It’s based around 12 steps to help you navigate the process more easily. The pillars are accepting the situation, making amends with people you have hurt, and working to change bad habits.
  • Live Chat Support:
    You can request help via live chat service 24/7, where you can find advice and support to stave off gambling impulses. The team does not discriminate between active members of Gamblers Anonymous or first-time callers, it is committed to providing guidance on how not to relapse into old habits.
  • Meetings:
    In-person meetings are one of the most effective methods implemented by Gamblers Anonymous. Meetings are held weekly or monthly and help you see you are not the only one with a gambling problem. The group serves as a base of support. You benefit by sharing experience and are motivated not to deviate from the program.
  • Forum:
    The forum available on the Gamblers Anonymous website is a good option if you are not ready for public encounters with other gamblers battling addiction. It is a valuable resource for learning about the recovery program and expressing your worries anonymously in a safe environment without feeling pressured.

Highlights of Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a recovery program with a successful track record. However, nothing is guaranteed because it’s your responsibility to implement the program. Before deciding to participate in or ignore the program, it is worth examining the pros and cons.

Advantages of Gamblers Anonymous

Engaging with Gamblers Anonymous can be a transformative journey. There is no downside to giving the program a chance, especially if you are ready to eliminate the shackles of compulsive gambling.

  • Free Support During Problems With Gambling:
    The program is free and open to anybody interested. You will not be charged for the support you are offered. In a sense, you will be repaying the organisation by participating in the program and indirectly helping other gamblers through your experiences.
  • Emphasis on Personal Responsibility:
    At its core, the program challenges you to gamble responsibly by taking responsibility for your actions by sharing progress and setbacks. Once you stop looking for excuses and get to the bottom of the problem, you will be able to stay the course and overcome gambling addiction, but also with other problems.
  • Huge Community Support:
    The big advantage is constant support from a large group of people with empathy and understanding for your situation. This community fosters a judgement-free zone, motivating you to discuss issues and offering coping strategies. By witnessing success stories, you will find hope that can fuel your journey.

Disadvantages of Gamblers Anonymous

The program has a few shortcomings which have to be understated if one decides to commit to the process. And it’s not the fault of the concept, but stems from the user.

  • Reliance on Self-Motivation:
    The formula for success depends on you. The program works by providing a safe environment and support but cannot impose a solution. Provided resources can work only if you use them, and that requires a deep desire to resolve your addiction. If you are not motivated, you will hit a dead end and relapse.
  • Not Tailored to Individual Needs:
    The approach used by Gambling Anonymous is more universal, and although most gamblers battling addiction have a lot in common, not every situation is the same, and some punters need a tailored program that suits their personality and circumstances. Programs such as GambleAware might be more adequate for a customised approach.

Attending Gamblers Anonymous

The best way to ban yourself from bookies is to visit a Gamblers Anonymous meeting and embark on the 12-step program. The sense of community and constant support from a group or sponsor is a great foundation to resolve your gambling addiction. However, nothing stops you from accessing other resources to build upon the support available at meetings.

Live Chat at GamStop

One of the most effective methods to distance yourself from online casinos is through the GamStop self-exclusion program. It’s a straightforward service allowing you to stop gambling at UK-licensed platforms for 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years, by simply registering on the platform and choosing the preferred time frame.

Forum of GamCare

GamCare offers exceptional support provided by professional advisers accessible via multiple communication channels and available 24/7. Some of the options with GameCare are phone lines or chat options via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. There are dedicated forums and chatrooms for discussion among gamblers and for sharing experiences.


How does Gamblers Anonymous differ from other support services for gambling addiction?

The biggest difference is the reliance on other people struggling to overcome gambling addiction to make the program a successful journey. The community aspect is not something used by other support services, which mainly focus on an individual approach.

Are Gamblers Anonymous meetings confidential?

It would not be called anonymous if it doesn’t guarantee confidentiality. The program is based on providing a safe environment for discussing personal experiences and worries, and there are no transcripts of meetings that can be leaked. Participants abide by the rules and protect other group members’ anonymity.

Do I need to pay to attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings?

Gambling Anonymous does not charge for attending meetings. However, every group meeting incurs different expenses, such as renting space for meetings or printing material. Members cover those expenses but are free to donate as much as they want.

How long does one typically participate in Gamblers Anonymous meetings?

Meetings take 60 to 90 minutes once or several times a week. There is no definitive cut-off time for group members. They are welcome to participate as long as they need help or are ready to sponsor other members. It’s an individual decision to stop attending meetings.

Does Gamblers Anonymous provide professional counseling or therapy services?

Generally, no, but not all meetings are the same. And Gamblers Anonymous works more effectively if paired with professional therapy. Groups are free to invite or hire professional counselors to participate in meetings, and share advice or give their opinion about specific cases.