Before you begin

It is recommended that you read these first two chapters from the book "Stop Gambling: A Self-Help Manual for Giving Up Gambling" (2001). This book was written by Simon Milton who established the Gambling Treatment Program and you will be provided with a number of chapters from this book during treatment.

Chapter 1 - Self Knowledge
Chapter 2 - Motivation

Before you begin the program, it is a good idea to start thinking about the types of things that trigger your gambling or the situations that tend to result in a gambling episode.

Below is a list of possible strategies that can help reduce the likelihood that you will gamble.

Access to cash
  • Destroying ATM card
  • Not carrying around ATM card
  • Canceling cash-out facility on credit card
  • Asking a trusted person to keep money or   monitor statements
  • Arranging direct debit on bills, debts or pay   by B-pay
  • Planning ahead for pay days
Access to venues
  • Arrange to self-exclude from venues through your St Vincent’s Gambling Treatment Program clinician. Self-exclusion is a free and voluntary process by which you will be excluded from being able to attend a venue to gamble, or to gamble online, for a nominated period of time.
  • Arrange self-exclusion with hotels and clubs directly, or via the Multi Venue Self Exclusion System (MVSE) on 1800 997766
  • Casino exclusion is available for yourself or a family member affected by gambling. Speak to casino staff in person, or call the Responsible Gambling Customer Liaison Officer: STAR Sydney (02) 97779000 
  • Gambling online? Consider blocking software to prevent access to gambling sites (e.g. GamBan). Self-exclusions are available through each reputable betting platform under the “responsible gambling” section of their website. See for more information and examples.  
Financial stress
  • Get advice from a financial counsellor (Lifeline financial counselling (02)  9498 8805, Wesley financial counselling: 1300 827 638, or contact the gambling help line to find your local service on 1800 858 858)
  • Use problem solving to systematically sort things out. Useful tools can be found on ASIC’s moneysmart website (
Gambling-related Activities
e.g. drinking in pub where you
usually gamble
  • Avoiding these activities by changing routines and habits
  • Arranging and scheduling alternative activities (e.g. meet at cafe)
Stress & anxiety
  • Practicing relaxation strategies (e.g. slow breathing or PMR)
  • Improving lifestyle habits (e.g. diet and exercise)
  • Using problem solving to help with the cause of the stress
  • Considering seeking professional help if necessary.
Low mood or boredom
  • Using problem solving to work on possible causes
  • Scheduling pleasant events
  • Discussing difficulties with trusted friends or family
  • Considering seeking professional help if necessary.
Alcohol and/or drug use
  • Cutting down or stopping use
  • Drinking only in non-gambling venues (e.g. at home; in restaurant)
  • Drinking only in company of non-gambling friends
  • Considering seeking professional help if necessary