OVER 18 - Recognising the signs


The warning signs

If you haven't been able to identify the signs earlier It may be more of a challenge as the youngster may have started working. They have probably started to mange their own finances and in some cases will have have already become addicted to their digital devices.  

Recognising the warning signs even at 18 might still help families and parents put in preventative measures before the potential lure of gambling sets in.

10 things to look for - Over 18

  • Running out of money each month
  • Borrowing money/taking out loans with no intention of paying back
  • Selling possessions
  • Secrecy regarding Increased volume of post
  • Overreacting to create an argument and aggressive behaviour
  • Becoming disengaged with family life and irregular sleeping patterns
  • Unable to sustain employment or relationships
  • Stealing money from family
  • Persistent and elaborate lying even when caught out
  • 'The Look' - zoned out, greyness, looking ill, loss of weight and a lack of pride in appearance

10 things to do - Over 18

This is probably the most crucial stage as poor decisions made at 18+ can potentially have devastating life-changing implications.  However, there are still a series of measures you can put in place but obviously the older the person is the more resistance you may find.

Once again this is by no means an exhaustive list but just some strategies that could ensure a potential situation does not escalate.


  • Open a bank account that has gambling blocks enabled – have shared access.  
  • Become ‘the expert’- visit the useful links page at www.gamfam.co.uk and do some research.  
  • Set up parental controls on all devices (go to the Parental Guides page) – register with Gamban and Gamstop
  • Self-exclude from high street betting/casino shops (multiple areas)
  • Register with a credit reference agency – for example Credit Monitor – this will allow you to monitor your child's credit score and track any activity such as loans on their file
  • Monitor letters that arrive at the home address – banks, loans etc
  • Monitor activity on social media  
  • Visit the GP – Although both gaming/gambling addictions are now recognised as a mental disorder some doctors may not be experts in these areas – families can self refer to NHS Gaming and Gambling Clinics.  Find out about counselling in the area they are in.
  • Attend a Gambler’s Anonymous (GA) or GamAnon (for the family) meeting