Getting a Handle on Gambling Debt: Advocates Say End of Tax Filing Season an Important Reminder to Reassess Gambling Behavior and Related Financial Trouble

Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling stresses warning signs of financial issues caused by the addiction

ST. PAUL, Minn.--()--With 250,000 Minnesotans exhibiting problems with gambling, the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling (MNAPG) points to April’s Financial Literacy Month and the end of tax filing season as an important time to address financial issues rooted in frequent or problem gambling.

According to, the average debt generated to people addicted to gambling is between $55,000 and $90,000. MNAPG says gambling carries the highest suicide rate of all diagnosed addictions, as those suffering don’t see a path to recovery from financial losses.

“Gambling can be a fun escape when you’re minimizing risk, but when people become addicted to gambling, personal finances can be dramatically impacted, and as a result, lives and families are torn apart,” says Susan Sheridan Tucker, Executive Director of MNAPG. “If you gamble, it’s critical to establish limits and find a healthy balance to meet your financial needs.”

Know the Warning Signs of Gambling-Related Financial Issues

MNAPG calls out these warning signs to identify if a loved one is having financial issues caused by gambling behavior:

  • Household bills are consistently overdue.
  • Unaccounted-for cash advances from credit cards, or maxed-out credit cards.
  • Person is secretive about money.
  • The person is making requests for unexplained loans from family/friends, or for loans that are blamed on phony financial matters.

If a loved one with a gambling problem is reluctant to address the issue, MNAPG says it’s important for people in the household to take strict precautions to keep themselves safe. Tips include setting up your own bank account, throwing away credit card offers and telling others not to lend money to person with the gambling problem.

To find help, call the Minnesota Helpline at 1-800-333-4673, and visit for more resources. Counseling is at no cost for the gambler or their family.

About the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling

MNAPG is a non-profit, gambling-neutral organization dedicated to improving the lives of Minnesotans affected by problem gambling. MNAPG is a coalition of individuals and organizations sharing the belief that problem gambling is a serious public health problem that is both treatable and preventable. MNAPG efforts helps individuals, families and communities address the devastating effects of problem gambling.


Phone: (651) 285-5224

Release Summary

Advocates say tax filing season is a time to reassess gambling behavior and the severe financial impacts it can have on family and friends.


Phone: (651) 285-5224