What's the problem with gambling?

Gambling - it's a leisure activity, it isn't illegal, it's your money, why should a credit union be interested in your gambling?
We work to support our Members and enable them to flourish in life. We do a money healthcheck on all our loan applications. If we notice something that we think you should know, then we will tell you about it and suggest things you could do; it's always a good idea to take a look at what you're spending and think about ways you can cut back on spending. Gambling is well known to be addictive and can cause harm, so we will signpost if we can see a lot of gambling transactions, or a high proportion of spending. We do sometimes decline a loan application if gambling transactions indicate harmful practices, such as using overdraft to gamble, borrowing to fund gambling, etc.

Excessive gambling can become harmful; seriously affect mental health, problems sleeping, family life, relationships, trust issues, employment and your ability to borrow money from other lenders. Research into harmful gambling finds that on average for every person with a harmful gambling habit there are 10 people around them affected by their gambling; partners, children, friends, work colleagues. We would prefer to help you manage your money well, enjoy healthy relationships before lending; a loan could make things worse for you.

Derbyshire Community Bank's experience

We see a lot of gambling payments on bank statements; lottery, bingo, gambling websites, sports betting and many others. We very rarely see deposit transactions from gambling wins.  

What we do

  1. We encourage all our Members to think about how they spend their money. Prioritise the important stuff, get good value when spending. 
  2. We ask our members to save £12 monthly; that's all it takes to build up a savings pot with DCBank. 
  3. We will signpost to free support and resources if we can see that there are excessive gambling transactions. 
  4. Less than 1% of the loans we decline are due to gambling.

'thank you for mentioning my gambling, I knew it was getting worse, that was the wake up call I needed.'
CU Member

What you can do 

  1. Set a savings pot for your gambling. How much can you afford to lose? 
  2. Make sure you pay the mortgage/rent, household bills, feed the children before gambling
  3. Share with others about your gambling; don't hide it away
  4. Block gambling transactions on your bank accounts - ask if your bank/building society can enable this 
  5. Are you chasing your losses?
  6. Try the Gamcare self-assessment test - 


Want to know more?

If you or someone you know is affected by harmful gambling, don't suffer in silence; there are lots of support organisations locally:

NHS east midlands gambling Harms Service logo
East Midlands Gambling Harms Service

phone 0300 013 2330 email website
 The charity Gamcare also operate the Freephone HelpLine 0808 8020 133 or online at 

 The gambling industry are also concerned that they don't cause harm and will work with you to block or limit spending.

Rehab4Addiction has a list of resources that might be helpful.

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