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Coping with a gambling addiction

We understand the impact addiction can have on your finances and wellbeing. If you’re living with an addiction and feel it may be affecting your ability to manage your HL account independently, we can help.

If your addiction is affecting your mental and physical health, speak to your GP or visit the NHS website. There are a number of organisations who can help here.

Signs you might need support

Gambling should never be viewed as a way to make money. You might have found the ‘high’ of anticipating the ‘big win’ from trading to be exciting. However, the feeling of loss can lead to extreme lows followed by the desire to trade to make up for the losses.

You might need support if you are:

  • Spending more than you want on gambling or trading
  • Struggling to find the money to pay bills
  • Taking out loans to cover gambling or trading habits
  • Finding yourself topping up your HL account repeatedly to cover losses
  • Logging in to trade more and more frequently
  • Not considering the costs of frequent trading on your account
  • Finding it difficult to think about anything else other than gambling or trading
  • Distancing yourself or hiding your spending from family and friends
  • Feeling an impact on your physical and mental wellbeing from your spending. For example, difficulty sleeping, feeling anxious, experiencing strong emotions and mood swings

Let us know if you need support

If you have accessibility needs or you want some extra support, there are lots of ways we can help.

Ways to help get in control

  • Self-exclusion: you can ask us to put a temporary block on your HL account to prevent you from trading or viewing any active accounts. You’ll still be able to sell investments by speaking with our dealing desk over the phone during this time. If you’d like to know more about this, please contact our Helpdesk on 0117 900 9000. Our team are trained on what to look out for and ways to help provide support.
  • There are services available to block you from accessing gambling sites on your devices, and you can also ask your bank to block you from spending money through gambling sites. See here for more information on blocking software.
  • Money management plan: if you’re facing financial difficulties because you or someone else is gambling, getting your finances under control is an important step. Budgeting is key to help you plan how much you have to spend on essential items such as food, bills and rent. See our budgeting tool for support. If you think you need help with getting a plan in place contact StepChange, a free service that can help you put together a debt management plan.
  • Set up a Power of Attorney: if there is someone you trust, such as a partner, close friend, or family member, it can be a good idea to set up a Power of Attorney to help you get control of your spending and finances. You’ll still be able to make decisions but this will act as an insurance so you know, if needed, they can step in and support. See our Power of Attorney page for more details.
  • Get support: Remember you’re not alone, not talking about it can make it worse. There are many organisations who are here to help you recover and not to judge. We’ve put together a list of organisations below.
  • Learn more about investing: we want all our clients to save and invest with confidence. When you’re ready, we have lots of helpful information on how to do this sustainably to get the most from your HL account. See our Learn section for more details. Important information - Investments fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest. This isn’t personal advice. If you’re unsure, please seek advice.

Organisations that can offer support

GamCare are a leading provider of support for those with a gambling addiction. They have a free 24/7 phone line on 0808 8020 133, or web-based support on their website.

StepChange offer a debt advice service, either online or by phone - 0800 138 1111.

You can receive 24/7 support from the Samaritans if you’re concerned about your mental health. You can call them for free on 116 123.

The NHS provide guidance on coping with addiction.