Gambling addiction – what help is available in Scotland?

August 25, 2017

Because it’s highly addictive, gambling on even a small scale can turn into an addiction that takes over your life. The fact that it’s also easily accessible online now only serves to exacerbate this growing problem.

So if you recognise that gambling has become an addiction, either for yourself, a friend, or a family member, what help is available in Scotland?

Professional help for gambling addiction

If you have a gambling addiction yourself and feel comfortable speaking to your GP, they’ll refer you to a specialist who can help. You could also contact a gambling charity or group if you prefer, such as GamCare or Gamblers Anonymous, for support and understanding of your situation.

You wouldn’t need to provide any personal details in this case, but would gain vital access to counselling and therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which could help you deal with the addiction.

Speaking to others in the same situation might help you feel more supported, within a non-judgemental and confidential environment.

Debt help

If you’re in debt due to a gambling addiction, there are two issues to deal with. Scotland offers a number of debt options that can help, if used alongside the other professional input and therapy designed to help you overcome your addiction.

One such debt solution offered in Scotland is called the Debt Arrangement Scheme, or DAS, and this is backed by the Scottish government.

  • Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

DAS is a government-backed scheme that allows you to repay your debts via one affordable monthly amount. Your essential living expenses are taken into account, and the repayment is made from your disposable income. You’re protected from legal action by creditors, and interest/charges on the debts are frozen.

  • Scottish Trust Deed

This is a formal agreement between yourself, your creditors, and a Trustee, and offers protection from creditor action. You repay the debt over a fixed period of time – usually four years – and any remaining debt at the end of the term may be written off.

  • Sequestration

Sequestration is the term for bankruptcy in Scotland, and although it allows you to make a fresh financial start, it involves the handing over of all your assets to a Trustee. It’s the most serious of all debt options, and is often seen as a last resort. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may also have to also make a regular monthly payment to your creditors.

If a formal debt solution isn’t appropriate, we can also arrange to negotiate on your behalf with your creditors, with the aim of making repayments more affordable over a longer period of time.

A report by the Gambling Commission – “Participation in gambling and rates of problem gambling, Scotland 2015” – shows that nearly 70% of the adults taking part in the survey gambled at least once during the previous 12 months, including playing the National Lottery draw. According to the screening models used in the survey, 4% of respondents were identified as low or moderate risk gamblers, and 0.7% as problem gamblers.¹

Scotland Debt Solutions has been helping Scottish residents out of debt since 1989, and can provide the financial assistance you need when coping with gambling addiction. We will identify your best options in dealing with your debt, and ensure you take the right steps to financial recovery. Call one of our expert team for a free same-day consultation in complete confidence.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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