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Office of Problem Gambling

What to Do If You Feel Alone in Your Loved Ones Gambling Struggle

Is gambling negatively affecting your life? Do you know someone who spends too much time or money gambling? Do they lie about how much money they have lost? Do you feel ashamed, embarrassed and afraid of being judged by others who may discover what has happening?

Problem gambling behavior does not just affect the gambler, but also affects 8-10 others around them such as loved ones, spouses, children, parents, or even co-workers. The discovery of a gambling problem can be devastating emotionally as well as financially in a relationship. The secrets and lies told by the problem gambler to maintain out of control gambling activities can cause partners or loved ones to feel confused, hurt, angry, and uncertain about their future.

If you are suffering the negative effects of a loved one’s problem gambling behaviors, you are not alone. There is HOPE and help available. FREE and confidential services are offered in California to the loved ones of problem gamblers through a program called CalGETS (California Gambling Education and Treatment Services). Getting help is easy; simply choose the one that works for you.

  • Telephone counseling is provided over the phone from the privacy of your own home or location of your choice. Services are available in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

  • Outpatient counseling is provided in an office with a counselor, both individually or in a group setting. Services are provided in several different languages and dialects, including the languages listed above and many more.

Finding a counselor, who is ready to listen, understand, and offer guidance, can be an invaluable resource for loved ones of problem gamblers. To date, CalGETS has provided help to over 2,600 loved ones of problem gamblers. The following quotes capture what CalGETS clients have to say in their own words:

“This doesn’t mean you are loved or valued less, it means this person is suffering from a serious addiction that doesn’t allow them to make rational decision.”

“With the support and therapy you can come out on the other side.”

When you are ready to take the first step to get help, we are here 24/7. Call 1-800-GAMBLER, Text “SUPPORT” to 53342, or chat at

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