Choose a time and place to talk
Bring up the subject when you have privacy and enough time to talk it through.
Tell the person how you feel
- You are my best friend and I’m worried about you. We love you and we miss you.
- I care about you, and I don’t want to see you getting in over your head.
Describe what you see
Don’t judge anyone. Just say what happened:
- Last month, you borrowed X$ from me and another X$ from my brother, and you still haven’t paid either of us back.
- You used to play cards once a month, and now you’re playing at least three times every week.
- After we had a fight last night, you went out and played the VLT machine.
- You said you spent the money on groceries, but you really spent it on bingo and scratch tickets.
Be a good listener
The person may admit having a problem. He/she may shrug it off, not want to talk about it with you, or become angry and defensive. He/she may be thankful for the opportunity to share feelings and concerns. Try to listen without judging.
Offer your support
If the person decides that a change is needed, offer help. Suggest ways you can spend time together, without involving gambling. Offer to help work out a plan for cutting back or quitting. Be encouraging and understanding. It may be helpful to have counseling sessions together.