Our Forum and Chatrooms offer a moderated, safe and friendly environment where anyone who has been affected by gambling-related harm can receive and share support, advice, and information 24 hours a day.
It is important to note that these spaces are not a crisis service. We ask all service users to use the peer support options safely and to reach out for other forms of support if you think you need urgent help. If you or someone you are with is in crisis, please contact the emergency services (999).
Registration for the GamCare Forum and Chatroom is free.
However, registration means that you accept and will adhere to these rules of engagement. The rules are not exhaustive, and we reserve the right to edit posts and/or take other action in accordance with the purpose and principles of the Forum and Chatrooms.
By registering to use Forum and/or Chatroom services, you are agreeing to be held responsible for the information you post, and you are confirming that you accept and understand the Rules of Engagement below.
First and foremost I agree to:
- show consideration and respect for other people and for their opinions.
- be sensitive to how my messages may be viewed and perceived by others.
- make sure any information I share is accurate and remember that another person’s suggestion is not a substitute for a professional’s opinion.
- remember that what works for me may not work for everyone and to be patient with others in their recovery.
Rules of Engagement:
- You must be aged 18 or over to create an account. (Visit bigdeal.org.uk if you are under 18 years old)
- All posts and comments reflect the views of the author of that post. GamCare will not be held responsible for the content of any information posted by service users.
- Particularly within the forum, try to use clear English with standard punctuation and paragraphs in your posts. We do offer interpreters on the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) where you can have a conversation with an adviser.
- Do not post in ALL CAPS or in large fonts.
- GamCare staff are specially trained to ensure the Forum is a therapeutic and safe environment for users.
- In accordance with policy and procedure, GamCare staff will delete or edit posts (this is known as ‘moderation’) that are deemed to be against the purpose of Forum or Chatroom services.
- Our moderators do not disclose any personal information about themselves, and this includes any history with addiction. Please do not be offended if personal questions of this nature are not answered.
- Please DO NOT upload articles, images, video clips/films, or links to our services or post comments or messages, which:
- are obscene, insulting, or considered malicious to others.
- are disrespectful of other people’s views.
- do not reflect the purpose or theme of the specific Forum or Chatroom.
- promote political lobbying.
- promote gambling activities.
- may be triggering to individuals in recovery. This includes posting about specific amounts of money won whilst gambling or disclosing graphic descriptions of safeguarding concerns, such as suicidality.
- disclose the identity or contact details of any other person.
- seek to engage with other service users for the purpose of recruitment for research, marketing, media coverage, usership organisations, or political activism. All media/research enquiries should be directed to GamCare in writing – find out how to contact us.
- advertise any products, websites, third parties, agencies, or services without prior permission from GamCare management.
10. Any user posting malicious links that are intended to cause problems for GamCare or its service users will be subject to a permanent ban from the service. If in doubt DON’T POST and seek advice from GamCare by emailing [email protected]
We hope you can contribute positively to our online Forum and Chatrooms, and as frequently as you can, to help us to make this a thriving and rewarding community that encourages recovery from the impact of gambling related harms.
The Forum and Chatrooms are spaces that can be accessed by anyone. If you feel that you require extra support to be able to access either the Forum or the Chatroom, then please get in touch by emailing [email protected]
What can I talk about in the Forum?
Wherever possible, the focus should remain on gambling and recovery in general. However, we do acknowledge that part of a healthy recovery is learning to enjoy life without gambling related harms. This may be something you want to bring up on our forum space. The moderators will allow such discussions so long as they feel it is constructive and helpful for all involved.
When replying to posts on the Forum, please be sure that the response is on topic and is relevant to the comment you are replying to.
Please make every effort to ensure that when creating a new topic you are selecting the most relevant section of the Forum to post on. Posts in the wrong section will be moved to the correct place, but if this is consistently happening then the posts will be deleted, and you will need to repost to the correct section.
What can I talk about in the Chatrooms?
In the Chatrooms, the focus should remain on gambling and recovery. A degree of general ‘chit chat’ may be permitted in the Chatroom, however the moderators will, at their discretion, aim to keep the topic focused on gambling recovery, especially if there are new members in the Chatroom who are looking for support.
To help keep our service users safe, we operate a warning system whereby any breach of the rules by a service user will result in a warning. Each warning will remain for six months from the date of notification. If you receive three warnings at any time, you will be subject to a ban from the services for a period of three months. Once a ban has been implemented, a further warning within six months of the ban ending will result in complete restriction of the GamCare Forum and Chatrooms for a six-month period. GamCare reserves the right to implement a permanent ban in exceptional circumstances for repeated or serious breaches, which also may result in a ban from all GamCare services.
Moderators will be vigilant to ensure that anyone who is banned does not attempt to access the services using alternate details.
Managing your distress
If you are feeling distressed or may be in crisis, we strongly recommend that, as well as or instead of posting on the Forum or visiting our Chatroom, you contact our team (via phone or web chat) to speak with someone who can support you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are in mental health crisis, please contact one of the following numbers for support instead of posting in the Forum or Chatroom.
- Emergency Services – 999
- NHS Mental Health Crisis Team – 111, Option 2
- The Samaritans – 116 123
Sharing your contact details
There may be times when you feel you would like to share your personal contact information with other members of the Forum or Chatroom. In these instances, we would request you refrain from placing your details in an open post or our moderators will remove it. This is because all information that is shared on the Forum is available to anyone (including those who are not Forum members), and the contact you would receive may not always be safe, appropriate, or helpful.
Our responsibility is to keep the Forum and Chatroom spaces as a safe space focused on recovery, and, for this reason, we will remove contact details shared on open posts.
We will no longer be able to facilitate the swapping of contact details from service users given the above reasons.
Conduct regarding service users or staff
The GamCare Forum and Chatroom should be safe places for all service users. We will not tolerate any bullying or harassment towards other users or staff. The following behaviours are not acceptable within the Forum or Chatrooms:
- Talking about members not currently present in the Chatroom. This includes staff members (moderators) and other service users.
- Harassing other members or making continued attempts to engage with another service user despite them not being receptive to such communications. Some users in the Chatroom may observe the conversation without actively contributing.
- Disrespecting other service users’ beliefs or recovery. Everyone recovers in a unique way. There is no right or wrong way to recover, therefore, please always remain respectful.
- Bullying another service user. Some examples of what constitutes bullying are shown below.
Potential types of bullying to be aware of within Chatrooms and the Forum
- Harassment - This is the act of sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages and being abusive. Unpleasant or humiliating comments on posts.
Posting links to content outside of GamCare
- External links to outside sources are not permitted to be posted within Chatrooms under any circumstances. This is because the moderator will not always be able to verify the link whilst moderating the chat room.
- External links to outside sources may be posted on the Forum providing the link is relevant, supportive, and does not violate any of the above-mentioned rules.
Only one account per person is allowed. Registering more than one account will result in all the user’s accounts being suspended, and the user may be permanently banned from using the GamCare Forum and/or Chatroom services.
Privacy statement and confidentiality
For more information on how GamCare process your information, view our latest privacy statement here: www.gamcare.org.uk/privacy
View our confidentiality policy here: https://www.gamcare.org.uk/privacy/privacy-support-and-treatment-services/