You need to figure out if there are any shared debts and exactly how much money was lost. Then, you can go about securing your assets.
Gambling is broadly defined as risking your cash on an event that has an uncertain outcome. Traditionally, gambling has been associated with lotteries, scratch cards, and sports betting. Modern-day technological advances gave rise to online gambling and a broad range of options for people to stake their money on a contingency.
That’s made it increasingly challenging to identify all the avenues that could result in financial losses and even a gambling problem. So, before you can figure out how to protect your assets, you need to understand the risks associated with gambling.
If someone is unable to control their urges to engage in an activity that harms their personal and professional life, that person is likely suffering from a gambling addiction. In these instances, it’s difficult to talk about asset protection. If someone has a gambling problem, the first thing they should do is seek professional help.
Basics of Problem Gambling
The social costs of pathological gambling are immeasurable. But research into the economic impact reveals that problem gamblers cost their families, employers, and the American taxpayer billions of dollars each year.
This considerable financial burden is fuelling the search for the best asset protection methods. Online gambling, which allows an individual to engage in this activity at any time and in any place, is only adding to the sense of urgency.
Pathological gambling is an impulse control disorder characterized by constant and repetitive acts of gambling with serious psychological, financial, and social consequences. In addition to concerns about protecting assets, a gambling disorder can ruin careers and families.
Moreover, gambling problems represent a significant burden for public health institutions in many countries. In recent years, a number of online platforms and counselling services began offering some relief by providing guidance on how to treat gambling addiction while figuring out the best way to protect assets.
One of the problems is that most people treat gambling as a harmless pastime. It starts off as nothing more than a simple game with a dose of adrenaline. Modern gambling mechanisms deliver an instant fix. Experts also point to increasingly sophisticated animations and music that are making the overall experience more memorable and enjoyable.
But for many, this isn’t just another form of harmless entertainment. It’s a road to financial ruin. The onset of gambling typically occurs during adolescence – a time in life when the person isn’t too concerned with building up a savings account or keeping money safe.
In the last few decades, the expansion of the gambling industry led to an increase in the number of gambling addicts. Gambling and betting have thus ceased to be perceived as a socially deviant phenomenon inherent in people from the margins of society. These activities are now legal and socially acceptable. But these activities also make it harder to protect your assets.
Unfortunately, this also led to gambling becoming an integral part of growing up. Unlike with drugs and alcohol, adolescents perceive gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment. It’s also one they can profit from without any noticeable health or social consequences, which is why many fail to see the risks associated with gambing.
The commercial promotion of gambling is partly responsible for these attitudes among young people. Once they’ve embraced it as a harmless pastime, all they need is access to cash. It starts off as an experimental phase, but it can easily spill into adulthood and become very costly.
The lack of parental guidance further contributes to the problem. Parents themselves are often ill-informed about gambling, and most don’t notice any signs of a problem until it’s too late.
Teenagers who develop a gambling problem are far more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and panic disorders. Some parents try to get through to their child themselves instead of seeking professional psychiatric help. But they often come off as a financial counselor, focusing on how the odds in gambling are against the player.
Parents that choose to go at it alone can either contact an online counselor or visit websites that provide advice for problematic gamblers. In some cases, a single problem gambler can jeopardize the financial wellbeing of the entire family. So identifying all the ways that gambling can become a problem and seeking treatment is crucial for protecting your assets.
Research shows that gambling is more common in late adolescence and with youngsters living with a single parent. Ethnic minorities and children who already have a family history with gambling are the most affected. Traditionally, men have always gambled more than women, but in recent years, women are catching up.
Here are some signs of problem gambling:
- No control over gambling impulses
- Spending more money and time on gambling than one can afford
- Chasing losses
- Neglecting work and relationships and using gambling as an escape from problems
- Putting gambling ahead of other important activities.
Managing Your Assets
Protecting your personal assets is a lot easier when you get your gambling under control. In addition to working on controlling your urges, you should limit your access to cash and learn about money management techniques. Compulsive gamblers tend to lose big and often try chasing their losses, which has a detrimental effect on their finances.
As soon as you start thinking about ways to manage your cash and take steps towards more responsible gambling, the financial costs will decrease. If you are interested in how to protect your assets, setting a budget may be a good starting point. This gives you a fixed sum to work with and doesn’t involve money you can’t afford to lose.
Repaying debts is also an important part of the recovery process. Reversing a gambling addiction and making sure you don’t relapse require you to eliminate causes of stress. If you can’t cover all your debts and you’re having real trouble with asset protection, reach out to someone you trust.
There are many models for tackling a gambling problem. The first steps usually start with seeking help from family and friends. This should also be accompanied by professional help. One of the objectives is to identify all your sources of revenue so that these can be placed under control and protected. In addition to avoiding exposure to gambling, access to money should also be limited.
How to Protect My Assets
If you suspect that a family member or someone close to you is a gambling addict, you need to act quickly. True, they might get mad at you or refuse your help. But you should know that their future and possibly that of your entire family are at stake. A gambling disorder can have a detrimental effect on the assets of an entire household because problem gamblers will bet as long as they have access to cash.
If you aren’t sure whether someone is a problematic gambler, you should look for the aforementioned signs as well as overdue bills and signs of rising debt. You may also notice increased levels of stress and anxiety related to money. Some problem gamblers get easily irritated and generally show less interest in otherwise routine activities, including those they used to enjoy.
When it comes to signs of gambling addiction, nothing is more obvious than financial problems and one’s inability to protect assets. Problem gambling can also lead to job loss and potential bankruptcy. Your loved ones may be especially secretive about their financial troubles and often resort to borrowing money to keep betting.
You may also start receiving calls from collection agencies while money mysteriously disappears from your home, savings accounts, or credit cards.
In addition to seeking help for a loved one who is struggling with a gambling problem, you should also acknowledge any positive steps they take and praise them for any degree of success, no matter how small.
But ultimately, everything in gambling comes down to accessibility of cash. Limiting that access, whether for yourself or a loved one, is crucial. A good way to start is by speaking to a counsellor who can help you figure out the best asset protection strategies. Here are some commonly used methods for asset protection:
- Have only enough cash on you for your daily expenses.
- Avoid taking your credit cards with you.
- Set a bank account withdrawal limit.
- Uninstall banking apps from your smartphone.
- Use a debit card instead of a credit card.
- Have your salary paid into a separate account requiring transfer of funds before you can access it.
- Ask people you trust (a family member or close friend) to hold your money and manage your earnings.
- Cancel cash withdrawals on your credit card.
- Consider placing your assets in someone else’s hands to prevent you from selling them.
- Make sure your family and friends know that they shouldn’t lend you money.
- Use direct debit to pay your bills or ask a family member to pay them for you.
- Consider using Visa gift cards for purchases.
- Self-exclude from online gambling venues.
- Take a break!
If you’re considering repaying your debts:
- Seek the help of a financial counsellor or enter into an agreement with debtors if you can’t manage the debts on your own.
- Make a plan and manage your weekly budget so that you can make debt payments regularly.
- Arrange to have your payments debited from your bank account.
Of course, if you aren’t the one with the gambling problem and you’re just trying to help out a family member, these are the tips you should suggest. But in those situations, it’s also important to evaluate your financial situation. You need to figure out if there are any shared debts and exactly how much money was lost. Then, you can go about securing your assets. Below is a list of things you should be doing right away.
- Take control of your family’s finances.
- Make sure that the person gambling is assuming full responsibility for all unpaid debts.
- Open a separate bank account if your spouse is the one with the gambling problem.
- Consider hiding or storing your valuables and securing your assets to prevent the person with the gambling problem from accessing them.
- If you decide to offer financial support, make sure that bill payments or purchases aren’t made in cash.
- Don’t lend them money.
- Consider using an online service to help you repair any bad credit history.
- Be careful not to sign things you don’t understand or don’t intend to pay for.
- Use a direct debit option to manage mortgages.
Be Careful Where You Deposit Cash
Just like with any other addiction, identifying problem gambling early on and taking action minimizes the financial damage to you and your family. Of course, your ability to keep track of any potential losses is critical. But do you need to be worried about more than just losing money on the wrong bet? In other words, can the gambling industry keep your money safe?
Whether it’s an online casino or a brick-and-mortar establishment, gambling venues are required to outline how your money is protected in their terms and conditions section. But whatever security measures are in place, money deposited at a gambling venue isn’t protected by the state. As such, these aren’t protected assets – at least not in the way that they would be in your personal bank account.
Basically, the information provided simply explains what will happen to your money if the business goes bust. This is meant to help you decide whether you want to gamble on a particular site.
In the UK, some gambling venues keep the players’ money in a separate account. But there is no guarantee that you’ll get your money back if something goes wrong. Basically, the larger your deposits, the more concerned you should be with asset protection.