Gambling is the wagering of something of value (as money or items) on an event with a variable chance of winning something else of value. Unlike sports betting, where instances of strategy are often discounted, gambling requires consideration, risk, and a prize. It is a major global activity and the subject of significant research, as well as of social controversy.
Psychiatric treatment options for people who struggle with gambling disorder range from psychodynamic therapy to family therapy to support groups and group therapy modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. Many of these therapies seek to increase self-awareness and understanding of unconscious processes that influence behavior, and may include psychoeducational or skill-building exercises to help people learn healthier ways to cope with stress or boredom.
If your loved one has a gambling addiction, set financial boundaries that protect the rest of the family’s assets. This may mean limiting the amount of disposable income that can be used for gambling or setting a specific time when all gaming is to cease. Regardless of whether your loved one is gambling online or in person, it’s important to be aware of the house edge and know that there’s no way to win without a strong focus.
Remember that gambling is not a lucrative means of making money. Most casinos are designed to take a profit from customers, and the chances of winning at any given casino game or scratchcard are determined by luck, not skill. This is why it is so easy to become addicted.