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Discussion in 'Personal' started by lattedrinker, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. lattedrinker

    lattedrinker New commenter

    Just found out by snooping into my 18 year old sons bank account and facebook, that this week he has lost all his £5.500 savings gambling online. He has messaged his dad to ask for £500 as he now has no money left begging him not to tell anyone (we are divorced). His dad gave him the money.
    I don't know what to do, I cant even though I know I should speak to my son about this. He will go mad.
    Im posting this because Ive nobody close to me who I could share this with as it would cause so much trouble.
  2. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    monicabilongame and ilovesooty like this.
  3. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Yes, a difficult situation to be in. Are you still on speaking terms with your ex - could you ask him to talk to your son about it?
  4. lattedrinker

    lattedrinker New commenter

    Thank you both for your replies.
    I think we both need to get some sort of counceling to try and get through this. I think my son has some sort of addictive behaviour issues.
    I do talk to my Ex, I did message him a few months ago when I found out my son was gambling to tell him not to give him any money. But he never replied so I don't know if he received it as it was via text to his English phone when his dad lived in USA.
  5. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    The situation isn't that difficult at this stage, insofar as the kid wasted his savings and his dad bailed him out for another five hundred quid. It doesn't sound like he's going to walking round on his elbows yet through unpaid gambling debts.

    The first thing to do is to dry up the bailing out. If he hasn't got the money to gamble with, he can't gamble. That he's gambling online is good, since it requires he has a bank account for the money to come from. I'm guessing your son is too young to own a credit card, so there's little risk of him getting into debt with that.

    When he can't gamble any longer in the hope of recovering his losses, it will probably occur to him how much was wasted and what else it might have been spent on.

    Recognise that gambling is rife throughout our economy, but often goes under other names such as buying stocks and shares or other investments, choosing the optimum moment for a house purchase or deciding that you don't need insurance.

    All I can say is don't treat the kid too harshly, when others much older, gamble all the time, albeit not necessarily on the dogs, horses or online casinos.

    The very notion that an eighteen year old kid would have that much money to fritter away is an alien concept to me, I never had two ha'pennies to rub together when I was that age unless I earned them, and by Christ, I wasn't about to donate the income from my sweat and blood to the bookmaker.

    Did the kid get the money too easily? Did he have access to it at too young an age? Do kids of that age really ought to be allowed to vote, if they're that daft, and what about the idiocy of allowing sixteen year old kids to join them? Youngsters are all so bleedin' sensible, aren't they?
  6. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    The site @chelsea2 linked to is very helpful.

    If you go down the counselling route for yourself that's one thing but if he's in denial as many people are with addiction he won't engage. I've had gamblers as clients and the barriers are very similar to those of the drug and alcohol users I work with.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  7. lattedrinker

    lattedrinker New commenter

    Thank you all for your replies.
    He is 18, 19 next month. He does not have a credit card. of the £5000 it had been made up of a recent gift of 1k from his grandparents(dads side), 2k student finance-(1k only having been received in the past week) and 2k from an recent win. Plus he does have a Saturday job.
    I messaged his dad when I originally found out he was gambling around 3 months ago to tell him not to give him any money, but it just went ignored.
    I didn't condone his winnings of 2k and he swore that he wouldn't do it again. But how many times do we hear that.
    I don't know how to approach him about this because I only found out by going through his stuff.
    He has (IMO) an addictive personality and this is worrying.
  8. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    It does sound as though he may be developing a gambling problem and one of the things you need to do right now is to make sure you are protected financially. Keep a close eye on your credit/debit cards; lock up your jewellery etc. Don't fall into the trap of replacing student loan money he has gambled away, or any savings. It sounds very harsh but the sooner he has to experience the reality of the consequences, the better for him. He is an adult and needs to learn to take responsibility for his own actions.

    Whether or how you raise it with him I don't know.
  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I recall when I was unemployed for a bit... daytime TV seemed to be chock full of adverts for online gambling... all going on about how easy it is... and free money etc.

    Hope you get it sorted out.
  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Sounds like the classic mistake I always make on the Penny Falls at seaside amusement arcades. Initially you come out in profit, so you start blowing your winnings on trying to win more and you end up losing all your two pences. Obviously five grand is a slightly different scale but the mentality's the same. The only real winner in gambling is the house.

    Legally he's beyond parental control at 18, and it sounds like you may be experiencing the perennial separated parent problem of dad flashing the cash to keep the offspring onside. My nieces are in a similar position - my sister's had the hard work of bringing them up on a budget then every birthday and Christmas absent dad coughs up cash like a one-armed bandit on a triple hold.

    Over the last few years I've watched my eldest wade through an inheritance from her late grandmother that could have paid a goodly sum towards the deposit on a house. No small amount of it has gone on socialising and travel. At some point she'll wish she'd been more careful with it, but she has to learn that for herself. She has also displayed an 'addictive' personality trait, although in her case it wasn't gambling.

    My main concern would be if the fixation with gambling led to deeper debt and the temptation to do something illegal to secure more cash. However if all that's happened is the savings account has been bottomed then he should just put it down to experience and be more sensible about money.
  11. lattedrinker

    lattedrinker New commenter

    Thanks again for replies.
    Son has returned home from girlfriends. I've tried to discretely to bring up the issue of gambling but he's having none of it.
    I'm going to try to get myself a doctors appointment this week to discuss it with them as my son did go to the GP in the summer with some anxiety issues.
    I contacted GA this morning who pointed m in the direction of a local meeting group. But its getting him to attend might be a tricky issue.
  12. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Put this to my 31 yr old son - my approach being "I have snooped in yr private email and discovered you have blown all yr dosh gambling. Am seriously worried." He said he could not be more pisst off at the blatant lack of trust or invasion of privacy this represents, and would hate me for all time but prob only a year, but would maybe (because he doesn't have an addiction problem - yet) welcome the fact that someone who loves him knows and will almost certainly support him - not financially - despite the excruciating embarrassment of having been discovered to be a cluck-up.

    It's all out there waiting for the parental generation as well as their kids. You never know where or when or who. Perhaps some helpful Careline might exist for anyone who loves anyone else to help them get through it rather than pouring judgement or contempt on them. Not suggesting anyone here has done that, but have just had difficult relationship with old friend's children following her death from alcoholism at 60. I never thought I drank more than her - indeed her kids said they liked coming to my house because it was so.... "50s" - thanks, maybe, I think. But she slid down the slippery slope and I didn't (yet).

    Ramble over - it can happen to anyone and not at the end of the practice but much nearer the beginning. Do not let this boy carry on by enabling him with money. Even selling his **** for gambling money might not cure him YET, but he will hit a point (unless the loss of his savings hasn't quite done it) but it's far more likely to work than bailing him out.

    One of my son's best friends at school was a hopeless alcoholic at 25. His mother was a lovely supportive, intellectual woman. Fortunately he was able to have a liver transplant and is now OK. You can't ever forecast who will fall for whatever addiction. All anyone can do is try to help them, and being supportive but not enabling, imo, is the best you can do.
  13. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    If you're pursuing this issue of gambling it's good to remember the following.

    Serious gamblers aren't interested in winning. That's boring. What delivers the buzz is the near miss. Get enough near misses and you'll get hooked.

    No amount of reasoning with the gambler over issues of chance and sure-fire disaster leading to financial ruin and massive debt will make one jot of a difference to their gambling behaviour.

    You've got to get behind the gambling to discover what is causing the hollowness in their lives which is the cause of their erratic behaviour.

    You've got to hammer down on the gambling straight away. It's no good waiting a week. Even a day can be a disaster.

    Find the root cause of the emptiness and attend to it.

    And don't listen to any promises that they will stop. They won't stop.

    Someone outside has to stop it by rooting out that cause of the emptiness.

    And the gambler can never return to anything involving a game of chance.

    My dad was a gambler and he destroyed many lives over it.

    My mum is a gambler and tells me she does it so that Littlewoods employees keep in employment.

    You couldn't reason with him or her at all. I also knew a man who died owing £100,000 on credit cards. Taking the money away doesn't work either.

    I'm so anti-gambling I won't even do the local church raffle (which the vicar runs).

    I don't do the lottery either.

    My mum even says that they should close down all the bookies on the high street.

    It's everybody else's fault but their own.

    Re gambling, they have no reasoning power.

    I won't say 'good luck' because it's got nothing to do with 'luck'. You've got to approach this problem with laser accuracy and stamp it out now.

    Tomorrow can be too late.

    Lock up all your money and your valuables.
  14. lattedrinker

    lattedrinker New commenter

    Thanks again.
    I wont bail him out. I don't have the means to TBH. I'm annoyed with his father for giving him £500 so that he can have some cash. Son has told his father via Facebook but sworn him to secrecy. Obviously his dad is sticking to their agreement.
    My son is heading down a slippery slope. I need to get it sorted.
  15. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Tomorrow is already too late.

    There was a time once when people could better themselves through hard work and prudent spending, but that's long gone. The watchwords of the day are education, debt and minimum wage.

    Schools play an important role in reinforcing the gambling ethos in that they encourage students to believe that with hard work, the opportunity exists to take on debt in the form of student loans and gamble that a university degree will earn them a better job at the supermarket than being a mere trolley boy on the minimum wage.

    If you have the maths skills to get a job on the checkout, for example, and manage to hold it down long enough, there's the prospect of another fourpence an hour in your wage packet that will go further towards reducing the time it takes to pay off the student loan.

    I have some sympathy in Jude's assertion that it's the near misses that keep gamblers hooked, but it isn't that which drives people into gambling. Those who gamble, in my view, either have too little or too much money.

    For those with too little, gambling presents the only realistic prospect of dramatically changing their lot these days. You can't blame them for having dreams of a better life. Who knows what ambitions they might have if lady luck happened to favour them? Maybe there are talented kids among them who hope to get their names engraved in history by inventing an alternative snack to the sandwich and seek gambling opportunities as the best medium to do it, since the precedent has been set by one of their betters.
  16. therunningman

    therunningman New commenter

    Why are we so sure he's got a problem?

    I was taught to save as a child and so by the time I turned 18 I had a rather healthy £2k+ in my account through saving birthday money, paper round, Saturday job, etc.

    In 1997 I was watching the snooker and felt Mark Williams was playing well. A mate mentioned he was 14/1 to.win the tournament, so I put £10 on. Fast forward a week or two, he won and so did I!

    Over the next couple of months I gambled away the whole of my savings. I only realised when a group of mates decided to go on holiday and I realised I couldn't afford it.

    This was a bit of a wake up call for me. I realised what I could have spent the money on and how I had wasted it.

    I have continued to gamble ever since, but I limit myself to £10 a month and once I've lost my money I don't gamble again until the following month.

    Maybe for your son the realisation of losing the money will trigger some reality to the situation like it did with me. I certainly wasn't addicted and definitely didn't need to go for counselling.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  17. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Have you also enquired of GA, GamAnon(?) and other such groups, if they have support groups for relatives. You need support through this as well.
  18. jamiecook20

    jamiecook20 New commenter

    Sad story, we need to keep children away from gambling
  19. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    This thread is 4 years old.
  20. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    3 years ago blazer minor admitted to a gambling problem. It came to the point where the wheels were about to fall off. Overdraft was at max and both his credit cards were maxed out. All savings gone. Mortgage payment would be missed. He had to finally come clean. No-one suspected. His wife chucked him out (quite rightly) and he came back to live with us. We cleared his debts on the understanding that he got proper help. He went to GA meetings, got help through his GP. Credit cards were cut up (once we cleared them) and we took control of his back account giving him a daily allowance. He got it back together and his wife took him back albeit with conditions and, touch wood, things have normalised. It is still a bit of an elephant in the room. We have gambling locks on our wifi now and so has he. It was an awful time but better times are ahead. It was gambling site accessed through his mobile that were his downfall.

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