Gambling is putting something of value at risk (usually money) on an event with some element of chance in the hope of winning a prize. It can take many forms, such as betting on sports events, games of chance, card games, dice, keno, bingo and lottery tickets. Some people play for fun, while others do it professionally to make a living. Regardless of the type of gambling, all gamblers must take into account the potential for loss.
In addition to affecting the gambler’s quality of life, gambling can also have negative impacts on those around them. These include family members, friends and coworkers. Gambling can lead to financial problems, such as increased debt and financial strain, which may force the gambler to rely on other people to bail them out. Other negative impacts of gambling include health and well-being issues.
A person who has a problem with gambling should seek professional help. Psychological therapies, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, can address underlying issues that contribute to the addiction. Financial counselling can also be helpful to people who are struggling with gambling problems by teaching them alternative ways to manage their finances and to recover from their addiction.
If you are trying to tackle a gambling problem, start by identifying the symptoms and warning signs. You can do this by talking to a therapist, either online or in person. If you are unsure where to turn, try using our free therapist finder – we’ll match you with a qualified and experienced therapist in just 48 hours.