Gamblers Anonymous is an international fellowship that unites men and women
who suffer from compulsive gambling. The group defines compulsive gambling as an
illness that can never be cured but that can be arrested. Members follow a
simple program that has proven to be successful to hundreds of other people in
their own situation.
Most people who arrive at Gamblers Anonymous seek help after they admit that
they have a problem, and the group believes that assistance can only be given
from that point on. Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship run by its members.
Volunteering and sharing stories is thus very much part of the healing process
for compulsive gamblers.
Gamblers Anonymous is run along the same line as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
meetings, where men and women - young and old - meet together on a regular basis
with the one desire to stop gambling. No questions are asked about the member's
background and there are no cross examinations or religious connections.
Gamblers Anonymous is also a free service and does not charge a membership or
entrance fee. Voluntary collections are made by there is no coercion.
A typical Gamblers Anonymous meeting has one member acting as the chairperson
for the evening. This member will invite others in the room to speak if they so
wish, to discuss their lives and gambling problems in an uninterrupted format.
The backbone of the entire Gamblers Anonymous movement is the 12 Step Program,
which is essentially a guide to going back to a normal life without gambling as
part of it.
The 12 step program is a set of guiding principles that outline how to recover
from gambling addiction and involves a number of important steps, including
admitting the inability to control the addiction; examining past errors with
more experienced members, making amends, learning to live a new life with a new
code of behavior and paying forward by helping others in the same predicament.
Gamblers Anonymous UK runs an excellent website which brings together the
activities of this group through announcements, information and community
efforts. A unique member's area allows problem gamblers to share their stories
or ask a specific question, while announcements pertaining to different regions
around the UK are also regularly updated.
A new feature on the website is the live chat guide, allowing like minded people
to gain support help and advice from each other. The live chat rooms and chat
meetings are monitored by admin users and provide a safe outlet for problem
Gamblers Anonymous meetings are held all over the United Kingdom, including
Scotland, North East, North West, Midlands and South Wales, Southern UK, South
Coast and West and Ulster.