Can I go bankrupt if my debts are from gambling?
Consumers get into financial trouble for a variety of reasons, none of which will exclude them from filing a bankruptcy and subsequently obtaining a discharge.
For a first time bankrupt with no surplus income, they will automatically receive a discharge after 9 months or 21 months if they have surplus income. For a second or subsequent bankruptcy you will receive an automatic discharge after 24 months or 36 months in the event you have surplus income.
However, when the time comes to get discharged from the bankruptcy, the Court may refuse, suspend or grant a conditional discharge if the reason for the indebtedness falls into one of the categories laid out in Section 173(1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
The following section deals with debtors who have incurred debts because of gambling:
“Section 173 (1e) (e) the bankrupt has brought on or contributed to, the bankruptcy by rash and hazardous speculations, by unjustifiable extravagance in living, by gambling or by culpable neglect of the bankrupt’s business affairs;”
However, when the debtor does obtain their bankruptcy discharge, they should be discharged from those debts.
For individuals who are problem gamblers we strongly recommend other counselling to help address the addiction. Bankruptcy may provide short-term financial relief but cannot resolve the issue of gambling unless it is combined with other treatment.