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The first step in being able to stop gambling is to admit to yourself that there is a problem. That may be the toughest part of stopping. Tens of thousands of problems gambler can't admit that they actually do have a problem. And what exactly is a gambling problem?

You may have a gambling problem if your gambling affects your life negatively in any way. If you hide that you gambled from someone, if you lost more money than you should have and have to pay a bill late, if you buy less groceries or can't buy something a child needs, these are just a few of the signs your gambling is affecting other parts of your life.

So, what should you do if you fall into this category? Below are some steps to help you stop gambling and to help get your life back in order.

  1. Ban yourself from all nearby casinos and/or online casinos. Every State and online casino has different rules and ways of doing it, but they will all have a way for you to ban yourself from playing. In some States you can go into a Casino and ban yourself. In some States you have to do it through the Department of Gaming or that States equivalent. For online casinos you can usually notify them that you want your account closed and yourself banned from creating a new account.

  1. Put someone else in charge of your finances. It's an extreme measure, but extreme measures need to be taken when dealing with a gambling problem. Any credit cards, debit cards and cash should be handled by someone else. It's just too easy to break away and say you are just going to play $20 or $50 or some free play your were sent. Don't do it and don't give yourself the chance to be pulled into the casino for any reason. If you need gas or have to go to the grocery store, let the person in charge of your finances go with your or give you the amount you need and no more.

  1. Take advantage of the many, many resources, many of them completely free, that can help you through the process of stopping your gambling problem.

    1. Gamblers Anonymous is probably the most known resource. They have chapters in every State. You can visit gambersanonymous.org to find information or click on the “Talk to Someone Now” button to find someone in your State to talk to immediately.

    2. National Problem Gambling Hotline is probably the best resource for immediate assistance. 24 hours a day you can talk to a trained counselor by phone, live chat or text. Call or text 1-800-522-4700 or chat with someone online at ncpgambling.org/chat .

    3. GamTalk is an online forum where current and past gambling addicts help each other and new members. It's available 24 hours a day and moderated by experience help. Gamtalk.org is the website address.

If gambling is beginning to be a problem or has been a problem for you, start on your road to a better life now. The old excuses of it costs too much, they can't help me or there's no help near me don't apply anymore. The above three examples are just the start of a long list of free, 24 hour a day resources that can and will help you get your life back, even if your life has only been affected a little bit. Now is the time to take advantage of these great programs.

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