Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use
Knowledge Exchange

Tips for Protecting Your Money

Even if the person who gambles will not co-operate, you still have the right to protect your family’s money.

Here are some ways to protect the family’s money from out-of control gambling:

  • Throw away applications for credit cards or loans that come in the mail
  • Pay all bills yourself
  • Cancel any overdrafts on bank accounts
  • Set up a separate bank account
  • Remove your name from shared credit cards and bank accounts
  • Do not share your passwords or PINs for credit cards, debit cards or other personal accounts
  • Do not leave credit cards or money around
  • Put valuable items in a safety deposit
  • Put savings in bonds that you can’t access
  • Ask the bank to cut off access to credit and not to allow your home to be remortgaged
  • If your family member is willing, get a power of attorney that puts you in charge of all property decisions
  • Arrange for your wages or salary to be paid directly into your bank account
  • Warn family, friends and co-workers not to lend the person money
  • Give the person an agreed-upon weekly allowance
  • Get legal advice so you know your rights and know what legal steps to take

The first step is to assess your financial situation. How much money has been lost? Which debts are shared and which belong only to the person who gambles? This step can be emotionally difficult. It is common for those with gambling problems to have difficulty being open about their debts. It may take time for them to “come clean,” particularly if they will have to admit to past lies. Since trust has become such a serious issue between you, they may fear that you will reject them entirely if you learn the truth. And they may be hanging on to some areas of secrecy as a route to return to gambling. These feelings and issues take time to sort out.

If you have a lot of debt, or if creditors are bothering you, see a credit counsellor. A credit counsellor can help you manage your debt and set up a family budget. A legal advisor can help you sort out which debts you share (such as co-signed loans) and which you do not. Let advisors know about the gambling problems.

Self-Help for Family and Friends
Does someone you care about gamble too much? With these interactive excercises, learn why they gamble and what you can do to help.
Gambling Quiz
Answering these nine questions will help you understand if gambling is having a negative impact on your life.
Self-Help for Those who Gamble
Do you gamble? These interactive tools will help you explore, cut down or stop gambling.
Monitor Your Gambling & Urges
Use this tool to keep track of when you gamble, or feel the urge to gamble. Mobile App also available.
Introductory Video
View a short introductory video to learn more about the Self-Help Gambling Tools.