Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a 12-Step program that provides the message that there is an alternative to the destruction of compulsive gambling. GA is a fellowship of men and women who have recovered from the illness by stopping gambling and attaining a normal way of life. These members remain ready to help any individual who passes through the doors.
GA meetings are face-to-face and include both “closed” and “open” meeting options. “Closed meetings” are only for those with a gambling problem, or those who think they may have a gambling problem and have a desire to stop gambling, may attend and participate. At “open meetings,” all spouses, family members and friends of the gambler are welcome to attend and observe the meeting.
At GA meetings, the focus is on a program of recovery:
1. We admitted we were powerless over gambling – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral and financial inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have these defects of character removed.
7. Humbly asked God (of our understanding) to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having made an effort to practice these principles in all our affairs, we tried to carry this message to other compulsive gamblers.
GA meetings are available in New York State, with several GA hotlines specific to particular areas of the state. To find a GA meeting near you or your local hotline, visit the GA website.