Affected Family Members

Does someone in your family have an issue with gambling?

Here are some ways to protect family finances

  • Start by taking careful inventory of the family’s financial situation and identify which debts are shared and which belong to only the person who gambles.
  • Have a partner or trusted person assume temporary responsibility for financial management and household bill payments. It is helpful to have the gambler stay involved in financial desicions without signing authority. This way, they may re-learn fiscal responsibility, while protecting themselves from urges to gamble.
  • Take control of access to any money, including debit card and overdrafts.
  • Cancel all credit cards and stop all lines of credit. Get written confirmation that the accounts are closed.
  • Arrange to have the gamblers paycheques deposited directly into his or her partner’s bank account. Automatic deposits work best because the gambler never sees the money.
  • Arrange to pay bill payments through the partners account.
  • Give the person who gambles an agreed-upon weekly allowance. Moniter their spending patterns.
  • Write or speak to someone at the bank and request that the gambler be denied credit and/or requests for re-mortgage of the family home.
  • Place valuables in a safety deposit box that cannot be accessed by the gambler.
  • Transfer ownership of the home, cars, boats, vacation property or other personal property into the non-gambling partner’s name.
  • Take steps to protect retirement funds, pension plans, RESP, cash value within life insurance policies and inheritances.
  • Throw away applications for loans and credit cards that come in the mail
  • Ask to have the gambler’s name removed from direct mail from gambling establishments.


Read this article from AFM for more information