Gambling problems often make debt problems worse, and vice versa. Borrowing more bet with can make debts worse, so can be a trigger for more gambling.
Can the courts be used to enforce gambling debts?
If whomever you are laying the bet with is supplying you with credit then no. This lending would be outside of the consumer credit act 1974 and therefore would not be enforceable in law. This is why when betting online you must use a debit or prepaid card; a credit card is not accepted.
If you’ve borrowed from elsewhere you’ve decided to gamble with that, or when gambling is the root of your financial problems; then the resulting debts are just like any other.
Gambling and IVAs
Recent gambling on bank statements is not good for an IVA application
When applying for an IVA, creditors are looking for commitment over 5 years.
Evidence of a recent gambling habit may harm your prospects of finding an IVA provider to make a proposal on your behalf.
Online bingo is considered to be gambling, just a few pounds per week may be seen as a reasonable recreational activity, but if it is enough to be regarded as a contributing factor to why essential bills are not being paid – it has to stop.
An IVA is a legally binding formal solution, so creditors need to see the documentation; for example recent bank statements. Payments made to online betting/gaming companies or large withdrawals of cash without a plausible explanation will cause concerns.
If you have recent gambling evidenced on bank statements – you may be required to delay an IVA application until the statements are clean for 1 to 3 months.
Gambling and Bankruptcy
As part of the bankruptcy process, your financial matters are looked over by a court-appointed official called the Official Receiver.
Gambling may be taken into consideration when the official receiver analyses whether a bankrupt is to blame for their financial position.
If it is deemed that your behaviour has been rash and this has contributed to, or to the size of your bankruptcy then the Official Receiver may ask to get a bankruptcy restriction order placed on you. This can lengthen the normal bankruptcy restrictions by up to 15 years.
Hiding of assets
If just before bankruptcy you claim to have sold an asset such as a car, then lost all the money in a casino or at the racecourse without evidential proof, this will be viewed with scepticism by the official receiver. It may be their view that you’re making this claim to avoid contributing this money into the bankruptcy for the benefit of creditors. This too could result in a bankruptcy restriction order.