It started with a bet. It ended with a truckload of debts. Just like the rest, players’ gambling habit start slow until it snowballs out of control.
Last night, I was randomly clicking video clips on YouTube until I stumbled into a very familiar song, “Where do broken hearts go?” In the world of gambling, nearly 23 million Americans are in debt and are facing eventual consequences of financial, social, and emotional problems. More and more people had been adversely affected – broken hearts and broken lives.
Some people lost everything and had suffered serious problems due to their gambling addiction. These may include not paying the bills and the house rent, or even selling valuable possessions – all in the attempt of feeding their addiction.
So how do you start over when you are neck-deep in debt?
I once read an article which states, “You can’t find happiness in the same place where you lost them.” Accordingly, you can’t expect to earn in the same place where you’ve lost your money. A lot of gamblers think that they can recoup their losses by gambling more. As a result, they only end up creating more gambling debt. Note that more gambling can never be the solution.
The principle is: seek help first, then debt help. Once the addiction is under control, it is more effective to seek financial help. Speaking to a professional can help you identify the root of the problem. In fact, studies proved that therapy is a perfect avenue to communicate your concerns and learn effective coping mechanisms. Moreover, you can also join a forum where you can share your experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Don’t bottle up your frustrations. Find a support group with whom you can identify yourself. They do not only provide motivation but they also erase the elements of shame and guilt by making you realize that you are not alone.
If you are using a credit card to gamble, please close them. The insatiable urge to gamble is repressed when the source of money is cut off.
Before paying off your gambling debt, make a careful and thorough assessment of where you stand financially. Make an inventory of your financial status by making a list of how much you owe. This includes determining your income, expenses, debts, and assets. After gathering all of the information, create a spending plan, including debt payments. Better yet, get a second job. This time, Hustle with a purpose – and the purpose is to gain control over your finances. Increasing your income is one of the ways to partially pay your gambling debt.
When all else fails, filing bankruptcy may be your last resort. But in cases where the debt is sky-high, it may be the best option.
Gambling debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. However, upon filing your claim of bankruptcy, the creditor may object on the grounds of false pretense or fraud. If the creditor has proved that you committed fraud, they can ask the court not to discharge the debt. If your claim succeeds, then you can have a fresh start towards a life that is debt-free.
Do you want to rebuild your credit and your life? Then it is of paramount importance to address the root cause of the problem which is your gambling addiction. The tips and guides enumerated above are deemed futile and temporary if the addiction is not addressed.