How we offer help in the field of Problem Gambling.

If gambling has affected your life, you are not alone. But there is help and hope available! Gambling addiction has devastating consequences, but people can and do recover from it. California offers a wide variety of resources for treatment and prevention – most of them at no cost to you!


CALL 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537)

California Problem Gambling Helpline – Access by Phone, Text or Chat

Free and confidential! Speak to a master’s-level counselor 24/7/365. Services are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, with tele-health and translators for 200+ other languages.

  • Call 1-800-GAMBLER, text "support" to 53342, or chat
  • Speak with a master’s level counselor immediately, 24/7/365
  • Learn about the services that are available to help, most at no-cost and in your area
  • Gamblers and affected individuals can seek help by contacting the helpline

Gambling Counselors/Therapists

Get help from a certified gambling counselor or licensed therapist in/near your city for either the gambler or affected individual. Treatment is usually available at no cost to you!

Problem gamblers and affected individuals can seek treatment.

Please note: Counselors who are not licensed are only certified to work within a treatment program that can provide ongoing supervision. If you have any questions, please contact us.

What is a CCGC?
California Certified Gambling Counselors have completed the requirements of the Certification Board.

Level 1 (CCGC-I) counselors have gone through a rigorous training and testing process prior to becoming certified.

Level 2 (CCGC-II) counselors have received additional education and spent more than 2,000 hours counseling problem gamblers and their families.

What is an Authorized Therapist?
State Authorized Therapists – independently licensed therapists who took a specialized training and are authorized to provide FREE treatment in a private practice setting.

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a general service to the public and does not indicate that the California Council on Problem Gambling endorses, warrants, or otherwise guarantees them.

Motivational Text Messaging

Messages tailored to your own personal needs, designed to encourage you to enter/stay in treatment, maintain recovery, and more.

Call the Helpline TODAY at 1-800-GAMBLER, and sign yourself up at no-cost!

  • For both gamblers and affected others
  • Available in English, Spanish and Chinese
  • Messages are sent twice each week for three months.
  • If you want more than three months, just call again and get an extension!


*Motivational messaging is offered as a supplemental tool and isn’t meant to be a substitute for counseling.
**Standard data rates apply based on your mobile plan.

Residential Treatment Facilities

State-funded no-cost inpatient treatment program where you will live in a residential facility and receive around-the-clock care. Residential Care Facilities are available at no-cost if you live in California.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

State-funded, no-cost treatment program at independent facilities to help gamblers who need more intensive treatment. Offers longer sessions 3 times/week.

IOP is conducted in licensed substance use disorder treatment programs with experience in treating gambling disorder. IOP serves as a bridge for clients transitioning between residential and outpatient, and those who require treatment that extends beyond once a week. IOP treatment includes 3 hour sessions, three days per week. View locations of IOP.

Community Support Groups

Free support system for gamblers through Gamblers Anonymous and spouse, family or friends of problem gamblers through Gam-Anon. Find a meeting in your area.

Exclusion Programs

Self-exclusion is a voluntary program that bans you from casinos from which you sign up.


Self-exclusion is a voluntary program that prohibits you from entering and gambling at any casino where you register. If you go to a casino at which you’ve been enrolled in this program you will not be paid any winnings, are typically barred from all casino restaurants and entertainment venues and will be asked to leave if seen on premises (or you could be arrested for trespassing!).

Exclusion/Restriction for Card Rooms (no slot machines):

You can register to self-exclude from all card rooms in California with a single form or choose to self-restrict access to individual card rooms with a different form. Registration can be completed online, or by downloading and mailing a notarized form.

Please note that the link to the downloadable form changes when the form is updated, so we do not provide a direct download link. Instead, we recommend visiting the California Gambling Control Commission’s website for access to the forms:

Native American Casinos (with slot machines):

Each Native American casino has its own forms and policies. You must contact each of them individually to learn about their programs. We recommend you call the “gaming commission,” “security department,” or “department of public safety” of the casino(s) you wish to ban/restrict yourself from for more information about their program(s).

Visit to find our more about most casinos’ self-exclusion programs.

Third Party Exclusion

If an immediate loved one (such as a spouse, parent or child) has a problem with gambling, you may be able to request a “third-party exclusion" to have the casino ban the gambler you are requesting it for. Once/if approved, third party exclusions work in the same ways as self-exclusion.

As of 2019, only a few tribal casinos and no California Card Rooms offer third party exclusion, and the requirements to exclude someone in this way are usually very strict. However, if the program is available at your loved one’s casino of choice, it can be a very helpful tool. We recommend you call the casino’s “gaming commission” to find out if it is available.

Other Prevention Tools

There are many tools that can make it harder for you to gamble or gain access to money for gambling, in turn aiding you in your recovery.

Disabling Credit/Debit Cards

Everi’s Self Transaction Exclusion Program (STeP) allows gamblers to disable their credit/debit cards at any casino that uses cash access machines from the company Everi (most of them do). Over 20 casinos throughout California use Everi’s machines, and work with the STeP program.


Blocking Gambling Websites

Gamban©, Gamblock© and Betblocker© are examples of programs you can install on your electronic devices (phones, PCs, tablets, etc.) to block access to many internet gambling websites and apps. CCPG does not evaluate or recommend any one program above the others; however, you can receive a code to install Gamban© (normally a paid service) for free by calling 1-800-GAMBLER, and Betblocker is a free program for the public.

About The Prevention And Recovery Programs

Many of these tools are intended to be part of a broader program of treatment and recovery.

What Else Do I Need To Know About These Programs?

It’s important to understand that tools such as those listed above are intended to be part of a broader program of treatment and recovery – they will not ‘solve all of your problems’ by themselves. Additionally, these tools are only available for some of the legal forms of gambling in California, and do not prevent you from gambling illegally or getting involved in other activities that may provide a gambling-like rush.

For these reasons, we strongly urge you to take advantage of these tools at any time – and as soon as – you feel that you need them, but to also take advantage of no-cost treatment programs that allow you to speak with a professional counselor or therapist, and utilize these prevention tools under that professional’s guidance!

Lastly, please know that the casinos and companies that offer these tools are bound by certain regulations to put forth their best good-faith efforts to make them effective, but that they do not have any individual responsibility or liability beyond making those efforts – which is why it is all the more important that you utilize these tools as part of that broader program of treatment and recovery.

Self-Assessment Questions

Learn if you or someone you know may have a gambling problem. The tests tell you if you should seek help, but are not a substitute for speaking with a treatment professional.




Self-Help Tools

These free workbooks help you learn more about gambling addiction. They are NOT a substitute for professional help, and are often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment.

Freedom from Problem Gambling” workbook

  • A tool for assisting people who are motivated to stop or reduce the problems associated with gambling. The workbook is NOT a substitute for professional help.

Personal Financial Strategies for the Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers

  • Designed to help families deal with personal financial issues due to a loved one’s problem gambling.

Other Programs/Publications in CA

For information about help and prevention services near you, call 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537).

If gambling is affecting you, or someone you care about, there is help and hope! Download the Gambling Affecting Your Life workbook in English or Spanish or Chinese to learn more.

Brochures (provided by the Office of Problem Gambling)

Help Outside California

If you live outside of California, that is okay. There might be treatment available for you as well. Find out what help and information is available in your state.


Other Helplines To Call

There are other numbers such as the California Youth Crisis Line and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that you may want to call.

California Youth Crisis Line

Legislatively-mandated 24-hour crisis line for youth (ages 12-24) and families in California: Professionally trained peer and adult ally counselors respond with non-judgmental, non-advice crisis intervention counseling and provide local resource referrals with any struggles including runaway and homelessness, thoughts of suicide, teen pregnancy or substance abuse. The California Youth Crisis Line is a free and confidential connection. We listen. 24/7. For more assistance please call: 1-800-843-5200.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Other CALPG Websites - Earn problem-gambling related continuing education online through live webinars. - Find out more about the self-exclusion programs near you.