Gambling is an activity where a person risks something of value in the hope of winning more than they lose. It involves an element of chance and can take many forms including betting on football accumulators, horse races or lottery numbers. It can also include card games, fruit machines or casino games such as baccarat and roulette. More recently gambling can take the form of online gaming or mobile apps where people play games such as slots and keno using electronic devices.
There are many benefits to gambling, it provides a social outlet and can be used as a way of relaxing or getting away from a stressful day. However, it can also be harmful and can cause financial difficulties. If you are in financial trouble speak to a debt advisor at StepChange.
It can be difficult to recognise if gambling is becoming a problem. Often those with a gambling addiction will hide the problem or lie about how much they are spending. They may even start to borrow money to fund their gambling or rely on credit cards or loans. If you suspect you have a gambling addiction you should seek help immediately.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of a gambling problem, but the most common is emotional and behavioural triggers. If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety or stress you’re at higher risk of gambling problems. There is also a strong link between gambling and thoughts of suicide, so if you’re having suicidal thoughts or feel you are at risk of harming yourself call 999 or visit A&E immediately.