Help With Online Gambling Addictions in South Africa

Help for online gambling addiction is simply a phone call away. At Recovery Direct, our counsellors are able to handle your questions about compulsive gambling and provide long term treatment.

Gambling addictions affect a small minority of gamblers regardless of how and where they gamble. Gambling addictions per capita correlate with similar statistics and side effects of substance use disorders and similar to substance use issues, problem gamblers do not discern between regulated or unregulated gambling providers; nor do they adhere to self-exclusion or gambling awareness programmes instituted to watchdog organisations within the gambling industry.

Problem gamblers experience all the symptoms of drug addiction including craving, tolerance and with drawals.

Only recently has this form of addiction even been recognised for psycological classification.

Much like a problem drug user (“getting a fix”), if a problem gambler wants to place a wager they will be able find a casino or sportsbook willing to take their bet – regardless of how governments try to enforce regulation and compliance on such operations. Thus the ubiquitous presence of online casinos and online gambling websites furthermore doesn’t actually influence the size or rate of the population of problem gamblers.

Unlike substance use disorders gambling addicitions or “behavioural disorders” are misrepresented on many levels and frequently carry severe and often disastrous consequence for the affected individual. From the identification, diagnosis and classification of gambling addictions to the statistics and recovery processes involved with healing from gambling addictions frequently involve mistreatment and undue social stigmas.

The shame, guilt and futility felt by problem gamblers to curb or stop their habit often results in the addiction going undetected until the financial catastrophe becomes impossible to hide. Unravelling the web of lies, deceits used to cover the addiction is by far the biggest obstacle preventing the majority of problem gamblers from seeking or getting help.

Guilt riddles gambling addictions through and through as the most loved individuals of the family are most often directly impacted by the financial loss and thus treatment needs to encompass the highly sensitive nature of the issues at hand. Consequently the suicide rates in problem gamblers is exponentially higher than any other form of addiction. Problem gamblers do not see a way out of their addiction and the loss of money, status and the admissions to friends, familys, professional careers have such dire impacts that suicide seems the only option.

Gambling addictions can be treated. The process of recovery (as with all addictions) is to understand what is fuelling or driving the underlying cause and then meaningfully working through the process drivers.

Money can be replaced, human beings cannot.

Recovered gambling addicts invariably are able to recover themselves financially, facing the “rock bottom” of the social stigma of a gambling addiction builds some of the most resilient and resourceful individuals that walk the surface of this planet.

At this point if you are suffering from a gambling related problem we would like to invite you to our free addiction recovery course where you will learn about the dynamics involved with addictions and how you can make significant changes to your mindset and life. This is not a sales pitch, the course is free for all and completely anonymous.

How To Get Help With Gambling Addictions in South Africa

How to get support

For those who need assistance with their gambling problem, the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation offers a therapy program. A 24-hour, 7-day counselling line is available. You can get free advice, assistance, testing, and face-to-face counselling from a qualified mental health professional. These services are provided without charge across the entire nation.

More details about the treatment program are available here.

How you can help


You can ask to be excluded from gambling if you believe it to be a problem. This implies that you have the option of voluntarily avoiding gambling-related activities. The gambling companies (casinos, sportsbooks, online casinos, bars with gambling rooms, etc.) are required to close your account and return any funds to you after you have signed a self-exclusion arrangement with them.

Additionally, they must delete your information from marketing databases and mailing lists.

They have the power to prohibit you from participating in online gambling, and gambling establishments have the right to take lawful action to keep you away from the tables.

Anybody can request self-exclusion, and if you want to give up gambling for at least six months, you’ll be encouraged to do so. Throughout your self-exclusion period, the National Responsible Gambling Programme will provide counselling and support to you and your family.

How do I make a self-exclusion request?

You must make this request either through the gambling website itself or through your respective regional Gambling Board.

What happens if I don’t adhere to the self-exclusion?

It is your duty to abide by the restrictions imposed by your self-exclusion. You could in some circumstances and be refused admission to gambling establishments or online gambling websites that adhere to self exclusions.

Self-exclusion orders being lifted

Only after the six months have passed will your request to have your self-exclusion order lifted be taken into account. Additionally, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve participated in counselling with a mental health professional.

The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation will provide these services without charge to you.

Self-exclusion counselling

There is no cost for the self-exclusion sessions. You can email [email protected] or call the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation at 0800 006 008 to register for these sessions.

Gambling Online Counselling in Johannesburg, South Africa

A “compulsive, or pathological, problem gambler” are terms that have been used to describe someone who cannot resist his or her impulse to gamble. Gambling disorders can lead to serious personal, professional or social consequences if left untreated.

Compulsive gambling addiction is in no way a moral dilemma nor has it got to do with being weak, these are treatable conditions that have complex motivations that are usually based on some form of past or complex trauma.

Recovery Direct offers specialised care for gambling addictions on an outpatient, online therapy basis in a secure and discreet facility based in rehab Johannesburg.

Are You a Pathological Gambler?

Is gambling impacting your day to day life? Are you finding it hard to stop or limit your gambling? There is always help available, no matter how bad things may seem. Recovery from problem gambling is possible and with right support and guidance, you can start to live your life again. Speak to our gambling counsellors today.

Family Relationships

Compulsive online gambling can have many consequences on financial resources and interpersonal relationships. More often than not, it becomes increasingly difficult for the person to find the support they need in order to actually recover in that the family is often connected to the behaviour and a central source of the shame. This is why it is so important to admit people struggling with severe gambling disorders into a treatment centre as the risk of suicide can be substantially higher than with so many other addiction based disorders.

Family therapy is often the best way to help and mediate these circumstances as the therapy progresses over time. Read more about family therapy here.

Best Way Of Helping With Gambling

Gambling addiction requires a specialised approach as the risks of later relapse can be very high. In view of this, there is a distinct focus on incorporating a wide range of family conflict resolution into the treatment approach. Recovery Direct handles gambling addiction issues in the a comprehensive continuum of care through online counselling.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

How is online gambling diagnosed?

Online gambling, is classified the same way as “traditional” in-person gaming. However, features like 24/7 access make it possibly more addictive and difficult to quit than gambling in a casino or other physical site. Typically 3 of the below criteria would warrant the need for help with a pathological gambling problem.

  • Preoccupation with gambling (such as reminiscing about previous gambling experiences, planning one’s next gambling session, or figuring out how to get the money to bet)
  • In order to get the appropriate level of thrill, you’ll need to spend more money.
  • Several failed attempts to decrease or stop gambling
  • When attempting to lessen or stop gambling behaviours, irritability and restlessness are common.
  • Gambling as a means of avoiding troubles or enhancing one’s mood temporarily
  • Returning to gambling after a loss in the hopes of recouping lost funds (also known as “chasing losses”).
  • Trying to cover up time spent or money lost when gambling by lying to family members, friends, employers, and others.
  • Significant troubles in a relationship, at work, or in school
  • Having to rely on others for money to get out of a dire financial predicament brought on by gambling

Recognizing a gambling problem is the first step to recovery. It takes a lot of strength and courage to admit this, especially if you’ve lost money and relationships along the way. Don’t despair or go it alone. Others in your situation have managed to break the habit and rebuild their lives, and so can you.

Programme Overview

We use modern treatment techniques that focus on establishing the right foundations to build a long term recovery. Through extensive research, we have constructed a range of holistic, evidence-based treatment solutions for treating and overcoming gambling addictions of all types and through a broad range of clients in our programme.

Treatment Methodology

Effective gambling recovery needs a focused treatment model designed around each individual’s unique requirements. There is no such thing as a blanket treatment model as each person’s triggers are different. Long-term gambling recovery must be sustainable and this is what we work towards implementing at Recovery Direct.

Addiction to gaming or a gambling issue is frequently linked to other behavioural or emotional disorders. Substance misuse, untreated ADHD, stress, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder are all common problems among problem gamblers. You’ll need to address these, as well as any other underlying factors, in order to overcome your gambling issues.