Where to get help for compulsive gambling

Of all gambling strategies, knowing when to quit may be the best.

It’s always tricky admitting that you might have a problem. But what do you do when you find yourself spending just a little too much playing the slots, or losing more money than you’re comfortable with at your favourite online casino? How do you know if it’s a problem? And who can you speak to to get your gambling and your life back under control?

The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation

The SARGF should be every South African’s first port of call when questioning their gambling habits. It’s a great website with information and resources that are particular to South African residents, and it offers a self-check assessment quiz, their treatment programme, a guide to self-exclusion, and a very helpful FAQ section.

Self-check assessment quiz: This 15-question quiz is possibly their most helpful feature if you are concerned about your gaming habits. It lets you know if you are a mild, moderate, or severe gambler and if you should start looking for help.

Treatment programme: This service is operated by the National Responsible Gambling Programme, which offers a 24/7 toll-free problem gambling counselling line. Professional counselling is available in over 9 languages, and you can speak to their counsellors over the phone, or request a referral for face-to-face treatment throughout the NRGP country-wide treatment professional network.  All assistance is free and confidential.

A guide to self-exclusion: Self-exclusion is a legislated programme where you can choose to exclude yourself from any gambling pursuits. A request for self-exclusion is processed through the provincial gambling boards or can be requested through the security department of any gambling operators who are part of the programme. You cannot take part in any gambling activity for a period of 6 months.

Contact details for the NRGP free and confidential counselling service:

Toll-free number: 0800 006 008

WhatsApp/SMS help: 076 675 0710

Email: helpline@responsiblegambling.org.za

Help closer to home

If you would prefer to look for help closer to home, you can always speak to your GP, who will be able to give you a referral for a mental health professional specialising in addiction.

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