Gambling is the act of placing a bet or wager on an event, often a sporting game. This can be done in person, online, or via a mobile device. It is usually done for entertainment purposes and involves risk, although some people are addicted to gambling.
It’s illegal to gamble in many countries, but some forms of gambling are legal and regulated. These include lotteries, sports betting and bingo among others.
Where you live can also have an impact on your gambling behaviour. Where there are more casinos, you may be prone to gambling more.
Having a family history of gambling problems can increase your chances of developing them too. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, it’s important to seek help and support.
The most common way to treat gambling addiction is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This will teach you to change your unhealthy habits and beliefs about gambling and the impact it has on your life. It can also provide the tools you need to stop gambling and tackle other issues that are related to your problem.
Your therapist will help you to understand the link between your gambling habits and your underlying mental health problems. Your therapist can also help you to deal with any feelings of shame or guilt that you may have about your gambling problems.
Set limits on your money and time spent gambling, and don’t gamble more than you can afford to lose. If you’re not sure what limits you should be setting, speak to your GP or a qualified therapist.
Limits on your time spent gambling will prevent you from chasing losses and becoming addicted to the rush that can come from gambling. You can also take advantage of the self-reporting facilities in most casino and hotel rooms to see how much time you spend on gambling.
Avoid letting gambling become your only source of fun and enjoyment, as this will quickly take you out of touch with reality. If you’re gambling too much, you can also get into serious debt and become a danger to yourself and your family.
Make sure you’re taking the time to socialise with other people, especially friends and family. This will help you keep a healthy balance between work, socialising and other activities and can help prevent your gambling from taking over your life.
You can get free, confidential support to help you overcome your gambling problem if you’re worried about the impact it’s having on your life. You can call StepChange on 0808 802 4000 or visit our website.
The impact of gambling can be serious and can lead to problems such as financial collapse, relationship breakdowns and even suicide. It can also have a negative effect on your physical and mental wellbeing, performance at work or study and could even cause you to be arrested or have an offence brought against you.
There are some signs of a gambling problem, and it’s important to know what to look out for. If you notice any of these signs, or if you think you may be having a gambling problem, get help from your GP, your local authority or a specialist organisation like StepChange.