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does gamblers anonymous work

Does Gamblers Anonymous Work?

Are you wondering, does Gamblers Anonymous work? Well we’re going to try make that a little clearer for you with this article.

Gambling addiction affects individuals from all walks of life. If you’re struggling with compulsive gambling, you really do need help and support to overcome your addiction.

One of the most common routes people take is to attend Gamblers Anonymous (GA). It is a supportive community for individuals who want to overcome their addiction. As well as telling you more about GA, we’re also going to evaluate its potential impact on those who attend.

What is Gamblers Anonymous?

Founded in 1957, Gamblers Anonymous is a self-help support group. It follows a 12-step program, much like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Designed to be a safe and confidential environment, this is where individuals with gambling problems share experiences while encouraging one another on their path to recovery.

12 steps to giving up gambling

The core of Gamblers Anonymous is the 12-step program. This structured approach guides you through a journey towards acknowledging your powerlessness over gambling and seeking a spiritual transformation to overcome addiction.

The steps include admitting your problem, seeking help, making amends and helping others.

How Gamblers Anonymous can benefit people

There are a lot of benefits to Gamblers Anonymous. These include:

  • Feeling a sense of community. When someone’s struggling with gambling addiction, they can often feel alone. During a GA meeting, simply being in a space where you can connect with others who have faced similar challenges can help
  • Accountability. When you actively participate in Gamblers Anonymous meetings and the 12-step program, there is an emphasis on accountability. This can help you feel a sense of responsibility not just to yourself but also to your peers. And, in turn, this can help avoid relapses
  • Sharing wisdom and strategies to overcome addiction can be priceless. Getting practical advice and coping mechanisms from people who have been through the same thing can be powerful. Not only can it give tools, it can also give hope and inspiration if you’re feeling hopeless or overwhelmed
  • Talking without feeling judged. This is so important to so many people, as having an addiction can be stigmatized in wider society. Openly discussing challenges and setbacks without fear of criticism or shame can be invaluable. And it can also lead to a boost in self-esteem and give you a more positive self-image too

Does Gamblers Anonymous have any drawbacks?

Of course, no method will work for everyone. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to potential limitations with Gamblers Anonymous:

  • Limited accessibility is one of the key issues with those suffering from addiction from more remote places. If you’re a rural person, it can be very difficult to find a meeting within easy reach of your home
  • Advice and coping mechanisms might not work for everyone. Because everyone’s different, something that worked for someone simply might not work for you. So when you get advice and tips from your peers, it simply might not be applicable to you. And sometimes that’s difficult to navigate
  • A structured program might not suit you. The 12-steps is quite rigid in Gamblers Anonymous. While it gives great results to some people, it’s not going to work for everyone. Therefore, it’s important to use Gamblers Anonymous alongside other types of treatments
  • There’s always a risk of relapse. Of course no program or treatment can guarantee individuals will never relapse. The success of Gamblers Anonymous lies squarely with your commitment, determination and willingness to actively participate in your recovery

More places to find support

Like we said, Gamblers Anonymous is a useful tool but it doesn’t make sense to use it in isolation. If you’re looking for information on where else you can get help, you can visit Be Gamble Aware.


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