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What do I do if I think dad is gambling all his money away?

He is in assisted living and they make weekly trips to the casino. He keeps asking me for money when I visit but I don't want to encourage a bad habit or possible gambling addiction.
Status: Open    Apr 21, 2015 - 07:14 AM


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Feb 02, 2016 - 09:45 AM

Gambling can certainly be an addiction. Its more than the thrill of getting money, it is also a fun social outing. If it is becoming a problem, you may want to work with him to set a budget. He can then set aside a certain amount that is used for “entertainment” every month. This can be loaded into a prepaid credit card so that he doesn’t overspend but still gets to enjoy the weekly outings.

Feb 02, 2016 - 09:57 AM

If he is threatening his financial well-being and has capacity issues, then it may be worth pursuing a protective proceeding for him (such as a guardianship or conservatorship). You would need to speak with an attorney about commencing such a proceeding. For example, there was a case where mom was sending money away for sweepstakes entries. It was excessive and threatening her well-being. In that case, her child petitioned a court in a protective proceeding. Court realized mom was impaired and they appointed child to have complete control of mom's finances. However, if your father is competent in the eyes of the law, your legal options will be limited as any of us are free to make poor financial choices.

Jun 17, 2016 - 09:08 AM

There are several steps you might consider taking in this situation. First, I would try having an open and honest conversation with your father about his gambling. Your father might not realize fully the detrimental impact of his behavior. If that doesn't work, speak to a social worker at the assisted living facility for ideas. He or she may be able to implement a plan to help your father reduce the extent of his gambling. Legally, if your father has the mental capacity to make decisions on his behalf, there is not much you can do. If, however, you suspect that he does not have capacity to act in his own best interest, you can file a petition for a guardianship and/or conservatorship over your father, which would give you control over his assets. This can be a costly and involved process, though, so I would recommend trying all non-legal options first.

Jun 27, 2016 - 07:55 AM

A hard question to answer. If he had significant assets to protect, where his gambling was going to destitute him, then something would need to be done, likely a conservatorship would need to be established. However, generally, a person should be able to spend or squander their money however they want, if it makes them happy and that are not being coerced or unduly influenced. If the amounts are small, coming from you, and you can afford it, it is entertainment for your father, and likely worth letting him have the fun.


Apr 25, 2015 - 03:33 PM

If it is just a few dollars it might be harmless "entertainment".
I am sure that you could tell the administration that you do not want him included in the casino trips if this really is a financial burden.

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