Gambling involves placing a bet or wager on an event with the expectation of winning something of value. The event can be a football match, a lottery game or scratchcard. When a person places a bet they choose an outcome and this is then matched to ‘odds’ (a ratio of chances to win) that are set by the betting company.
For some, gambling becomes a serious problem that can strain or even break relationships, ruin careers and lead to financial disaster. For others, it can become an addictive habit that can lead to compulsive, impulsive behaviour. It can occur at casinos, race tracks and online. Problem gamblers are found in all walks of life and a gambling addiction can impact every area of a person’s life.
There are many things you can do to help you overcome your gambling problem and live a happier, healthier life. Start by talking about your problems with someone who won’t judge you, such as a friend or family member. Alternatively, you could seek the support of a professional counsellor. You should also try to reduce your financial risk factors and not use credit cards, take out loans or steal money. Finally, make sure that you have a balanced lifestyle and don’t allow your gambling activities to take up all of your time.
You should also learn how to recognise when you are slipping into old habits, such as chasing your losses. Always play with a fixed amount of money that you are willing to lose and don’t be seduced by free cocktails or other perks offered at casinos.