Suggested Meeting Format

The below suggested meeting format is taken from GA approved literature, for the most part.   This meeting format is used at all GA meetings in several areas around the country and works for structure and keeping the meetings running on time.

I’ve put in the meeting format I re-wrote when I moved to the Louisville area.


Welcome the newcomers, get their first name & last initial.  Hand out combo book, meeting list, phone list and new member packet (if available.)

1.      Welcome, my name is _______ and I am a compulsive gambler.  This is the regular (time) (name of group – if any) meeting of Gamblers Anonymous at (location)

2.      This meeting begins at (time) p.m. and will end promptly at (time ends).  If you do not get a chance to share during the sharing portion of our meeting, be sure to get with someone afterwards

3.      (Read)  Anyone with less than thirty days of abstinence, please introduce yourself so that we may get to know you better.

4.      (to the new members) We who are compulsive gamblers understand as few others can, we urge you to try our program as it may aid you in finding solutions that will lead to serenity and peace of mind.

5.      Read the combo book . The chairperson selects the pages, but most meetings read the whole book. At a minimum pages 2,3, the recovery steps, the unity steps, definition of gambling, 20 questions and page 17.

6.      GA has but one primary purpose, to carry the message to the compulsive gambler who still suffers.  We are not here to help you curb or control your gambling, but rather to help you stop completely.  This means not even flipping a coin for a cup of coffee.  This does not mean that if you have fallen off that you cannot attend meetings, it only means that we are trying to stay completely away from gambling.

7.      It is suggested that members do not discuss any crime for which they may still be prosecuted.  Confidentiality is not necessarily a legal right and the room itself offers no protection regarding these matters.

8.      GA is a program of honesty, friendship and anonymity.  It is very important to respect the anonymity of every member.  You may tell the whole world you are a recovering compulsive gambler if you wish, however, never give out the names or occupations of other members.  A careless word could cost someone their job or give them an excuse to leave the group.


10.  We have available for all GA members, a Pressure Relief Group meeting.  The reason is to relieve pressure you may have from legal, financial, employment or personal problems, so that you can concentrate on stopping gambling.

11.  Our 7th Unity step states GA is self supporting through our own contributions.  The can is being passed around.  (open floor for GA related announcements)

12.  Sponsorship:  When we speak of sponsorship in GA, we mean the opportunity for the more experienced member to help another compulsive gambler to achieve the GA program.  Please get with me or someone else after the meeting for more information about sponsorship.

13.  A few suggestions before we get started.  In sharing, please confine your comments to your own experience, how you were, what happened and how you are now.  We do not interrupt or make comments about another’s sharing.

14.  (if a large crowd)Please hold your comments to approximately 5-7 minutes so that others will have an opportunity to share.

15.  (if a smaller crowd) Please hold your comments to approximately 7-10 minutes so that others will have an opportunity to share.


After the last person shares or a few minutes before closing the meeting:

16.  In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here are strictly those of the individual who gave them.  Take what you like and leave the rest.

17.  We will now close, joining hands in a circle and reciting the Serenity Prayer, found on the front of the yellow combo book.