Problem gambling

How to identify if gambling is becoming a problem

The majority of people do gamble responsibly. It may help you to keep your gambling under control by remembering the following:

  • You're taking part for fun - not as a means of investing your money

  • Before playing, set strict limits on how much time and money you're going to spend

  • Quit while you're ahead

  • Only gamble with money you can afford to lose

  • Don't spend more money on gambling, hoping to win back money that you've lost

  • Keep up other interests and hobbies - don't let gambling take over your life

  • Don't gamble in order to escape from stress or boredom

  • Gambling in moderation is okay

For some however gambling can become a problem. If you are concerned about the amount you are gambling, and feel it is taking over your life - or you are concerned for a friend or relative - then the following questions may help you by giving you some guidance.

Have others ever criticised your gambling?

  • Have you lied to cover up the amount you have gambled or the time you have spent doing it?

  • Do arguments, frustrations or disappointments make you want to gamble?

  • Do you gamble alone for long periods?

  • Do you stay away from work or college to gamble?

  • Do you gamble to escape from a boring or unhappy life?

  • Are you reluctant to spend 'gambling money' on anything else?

  • Have you lost interest in your family, friends or pastimes due to gambling?

  • After losing, do you feel you must try to win back your losses as soon as possible?

  • When gambling and you run out of money, do you feel lost and in despair, and need to gamble again as soon as possible?

  • Do you gamble until your last penny is gone?

  • Have you lied, stolen or borrowed just to get money to gamble or to pay gambling debts?

  • Do you feel depressed or even suicidal because of your gambling?

If you are answering 'yes' to some of these questions, then it is likely that a gambling problem exists. For friendly and helpful advice from trained counsellors call the National Gambling Helpline on 0800 8020 133. The helpline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

Sometimes just telling someone about your problem can be a relief and it is the first step towards dealing with your problem. You can also visit the GambleAware website for more information and advice.

If you wish to give yourself some time to think we offer you the option to time out for the following durations: 24 hours, one week, one month or for a period up to six weeks. To time out please send an email to our ELM (CFP) at with “Charity Name” in the title, and include the period you wish to time out from with your full name and address. Alternatively you can call our raffle helpline on 01628 201283.

Self-exclusion policy

Whilst most raffle players are able to enjoy their participation in such activity, we recognize that for a very small number of people this form of gambling activity may cease to be fun. For those players who wish to restrict their gambling, we provide a self-exclusion facility.  Self-exclusion is a formal process whereby we cease to allow you to participate in our online and direct mail raffles.

Software is available to prevent individual computers from accessing gambling internet sites. Please see or for further information.

To self-exclude please send an email to our ELM (CFP) at with ‘self-exclusion’ in the title, and include your full name and address.  Alternatively you can call our raffle helpline on 01628 201283, or complete our online self-exclusion form. During the period of self-exclusion the Cystic Fibrosis Trust will not permit you to enter its raffles and lotteries. We shall mark your record accordingly within 2 working days of receipt of your self-exclusion notification. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and CFP (the external lottery manager) will hold your details on a register to ensure that you aren't entered into any future draws and that we don't send you any promotional material. If you have purchased chances/tickets in our raffle, and subsequently send us a self-exclusion notification which is received prior to the raffle close date, we will refund your payment and remove you from the draw.  The minimum period of exclusion is 6 months. If you would like to enter our raffles and lotteries again after this period you can call our helpline on 01628 201283. There will be a 24 hour cooling off period after you make contact before you may enter into a raffle or lottery. Without contact the self-exclusion will apply for another 6 months once this self-exclusion expires. On request self-exclusion can be extended for one or more further periods of at least 6 months.

We encourage you to consider extending self-exclusion to other licensee's gambling premises in your local area.

In requesting self-exclusion you agree to provide full and accurate personal details, now and in the future, so as to ensure we are able to restrict your access to our services. If you do choose to self-exclude we will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure we comply with your self-exclusion. However in agreeing to self-exclude you accept that you have a parallel undertaking not to seek to circumvent the self-exclusion. Accordingly, neither our ELM (CFP) nor The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has responsibility or liability for any subsequent consequences or losses howsoever caused, that you may suffer or incur if you commence or continue gambling by providing misleading, inaccurate or incomplete details or otherwise seek to circumvent the self-exclusion agreed.

Self-exclusion applies only to the cessation of contact on gambling products and ability to enter the draws, to be removed from other charity mailings contact our Supporter Care Team on 020 3795 2177.

Please remember for friendly and helpful advice from trained counsellor's call the National Gambling Helpline on 0800 8020133 or visit the GambleAware website