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Partner has gambling addiction

Community Member
Hi there, it's my first post. I suspect that my partner has a sport betting/gambling addiction. He's taking loans behind my back and has multiple apps that let you make sport bets. I don't know what to do, when I confronted him he keeps denying everything. Am I making this up? I saw what I saw. Do I leave? Do I help him? I am so lost and lonely.
14 Replies 14

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

My wife has an in law with the same problem that has led to her relative taking out reverse mortgages to pay off the debts. This results in an erosion of her and her siblings inheritance. What's worse is that her relative has a worsening terminal illness and will need that equity to fund age care which won't now be enough.

Sadly, all relatives want her to leave him but she won't. Why not?, likely the same reason you won't, that it is a big step when it's his only flaw.

Yes, you did see what you saw. He knows you well enough that you will doubt your own eyes if it came to that. The deceit is unacceptable and it is only the beginning.

I'm sorry I have no remedy but charity begins at home...you can choose a better future.

You can contact Relationships Australia for more guidance


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Lorenth210, thanks for posting a rather difficult comment as living with someone who has an addiction in this regard can make your financial situation so unpredictable, not actually knowing the costs involved,

It's easy for a gambler to tell you or another person if they have a big win, but declined to mention how much it's cost them, and the more they win, the more they gamble.

You may still love him, but you can't be sure if or who maybe chasing him for money or how many loans he's taken out, which will eventually finish and as Tony has said 'deceit is unacceptable and it is only the beginning.'

Trust may have been broken, a number of times, only you will know the answer to this but money given to him to pay the utilities may have been gambled away, and your decision really depends on the situation you're in with regards to the house/flat, either buying or renting and who's name is on the paperwork, plus the furniture which may or may not be a problem.

We can't say what do, only suggest, however, if this situation is way out of hand and he has lost control with these loans and you have concerns for the future, then there is only one decision to make.

You have to look after yourself, but please we hope to hear back from you.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Lorenth210,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for joining us. I'm sorry to hear about what you've been going through - it must have been so hard to confront him and then have it denied and start to question yourself over it.

I think that denial of gambling or even owning apps on a phone can be a big safety mechanism- if he were to acknowledge the apps were there he'd have to acknowledge that he uses them, and that might be a spiral he's not ready to take yet.

I want to recommend a couple of different resources that might be more helpful too ->

A free online live chat; while the site suggests it's only for people who gamble it's also for their loved ones. You get to speak to a counsellor here - https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/

Forums that are specific to loved ones and gambling - https://forum.gamblinghelponline.org.au/viewforum.php?f=14&sid=36190c84577c0465bf12442ef2d675d4

I hope this helps a little. While I can't make any of those decisions for you I believe you were right in what you saw but it was easier to deny it.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Lorenth210,

"I suspect" may need further investigation - your partner has 'gambling apps' and takes loans 'behind your back' does not necessarily imply one is the cause of the other.
Perhaps he is in some other financial difficulty where loans and gambling are seen as the solution (as opposed to a gambling addiction, per se), or they could be self perpetuating in a vicious cycle similar to paying off one credit card with another.

Your partner's denial may be a literal response to your suspicions or could be an attempt to cover something more dire. A third possibility is that this may just be considered part of everyday life (ie, poor financial management) and not seen as anything out of the ordinary for him - some users see 'betting apps' as 'entertainment' but is often a show of bravado with peers.

Leave or help? Before reaching any conclusion, it would be sensible to calmly ascertain the facts - perhaps prepare some 'audit' of his (and your) financial affairs to determine the cashflow problem and methodology for meeting obligations (ideally with his consent and assistance - if not, you may have to estimate). A simple balance sheet of 'money in' and money out' is all you really need.
Once the situation is understood, you will be in a better position to offer support and take remedial action as required.

A final observation - if your partner is spending his own money, assuming sole responsibility for his loans, and still meeting obligations with household expenses, then some regard for his discernment should be given; although recklessness is cause for alarm which may hint at some deeper inner conflict where professional counseling may yield results.


Community Member

Thank you everyone.

I think the fact that I don't know for sure makes me question everything. I wish I had a solid proof, but so far I received excuses and explanations for everything I have found so far. Makes me want to question my own sanity, maybe I'm overthinking it.

I'd love to hear more stories from people who have experienced this issue, as I have absolutely no idea how to make sure I am right, and how to manage this situation

Thank you

Hi Lorenth210

Good on you posting re 'Partner with a Gambling Addiction'

I had a work colleague/friend ask if he could board with me as 'he was broke and he needed a place to stay for a little while'.....It wasnt a little while....It ended up being being six months

He was on a $85,000 base salary with FMV (fully maintained company vehicle) + overseas trips + expense account...(in 2001)

He was a close friend and even asked me for some of my dinner that I made for myself...which I gave him

Anyhoo..I found out he was addicted to the pokies and continually lied to me for months...The lies hurt me more than him asking me for half of my dinner.

Im not saying this is what you are going through Lorenth210......Just my own experience with a long term friend that abused my trust with the daily lies....when he was maxed out with personal loans and short paying me with bills/board etc

He always looked me the eye when he pleaded poor....and I was dill and believed him..20 years ago

Its only my humble opinion....I dont think you are overthinking at all Lorenth210

you are not alone.....any questions are always welcome 🙂


Hello Lorenth210, an addict always has an answer, a justification to get them out of a difficult situation, whether it's a new excuse or reiterating one told before, and if for some reason he knows or presumes he does, then he believes he has support, whereas deep down this isn't what you want.

I have an elderly friend who was glued to the pokies and at one time had $4000 in credit, didn't take it out but kept on gambling truly believing that he would double his winnings, instead he lost the whole amount and couldn't get home.

There are some questions if we could ask you,

-what commitments towards rent or mortgage is he responsible for

-purchase of food, insurance and car etc

Only answer when you can.



Hi Lorenth and good people ☺

Welcome darl to as you can see to a welcoming caring community. Isn't it a shame to meet people under hard circumstances.

Darl I was/am but rare now compulsive on Pokies for many many yrs. If there's any questions feel free to ask lovey.

It sounds like he might be in denial or is aware there's a problem and not willing yet to face it which is mammoth cause by the time we do we're usually in very deep.

I'm wondering if there's any way you can not be held responsible for your partners debts that Romantic thi3f has given you the site to contact. They might put you onto a financial advisor as well I'd imagine they'll give you sound advice.

When someone lies and doesn't tell you important things they're hiding something. I doubt very much that you're wrong in this instance.

This will be hard to hear but it might help. In my mammoth gambling experience and from what I've seen and heard moreso is to stop these powerful addictions we have to hit rock bottom which is very very deep before we start looking for help. I strongly suggest if you haven't yet get onto financial advice or a lawyer to avoid losing more if that's the case.

It doesn't make it right but lies deceit covering up are survival strategies. It took me a long time to open up to everyone but mostly was honest with my poor partners. See the trouble and fear is the devastation of facing reality. It's the pits not being financial and completely broke no one wants that so the addiction becomes stronger.

A gambling counsellor might be another good start to talk to as well.

For me and I imagine others there's so much pleasure and excitement you live on adrenalin pretty much most of the time and build an incredibly strong wall blocking pain I rarely felt depression where an average person would have been ready to make the ultimate choice.

It's not a good life apart from the thrill but we learn fast how to adapt to feed the beast.

I think the first thing would be to get him to admit his problem which would involve walking a fine line as he won't want to because then he knows he'll have to stop and face the train wreck. We can pull out of this and that incredibly powerful urge eventually lessons.

Chances are he'll always be addicted but won't necessarily play.

I do feel sorry you're going through this.

Support darl amongst these beautiful people ☺

Community Member

Thank you everyone, your support and every word helps me understand it all a bit better.

He has confessed today after a huge argument, so I was right from the start.

If you have a gut feeling about something, trust it.

Thanks everyone, I'm onto my new chapter.