Problem Gambling

Gambling involves wagering something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome. It can involve any activity with a risk and the chance of winning, from buying lottery tickets to betting on horse races or football matches. Problem gambling can cause financial, emotional and social problems. It is a complex behaviour that requires treatment and support.

People gamble for many reasons: excitement, money, socialising and escaping boredom or stress. But it can become a problem when you don’t stop and the habit takes over your life. You may start to lose control of your finances or use your money to cover debts. You might also be secretive about your gambling or lie about how much you spend.

If you’re worried that your gambling is out of control, there are steps you can take to help yourself. For example, you could try to change the way you play your favourite casino games to make them less addictive. You could also practice relaxation techniques and find healthier ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as exercising or spending time with friends who don’t gamble.

Many people have a natural predisposition to develop a gambling problem. They have a tendency to expect that they will replicate their first big win, and have difficulty assessing the long-term impact of their actions. Other factors that contribute to problematic gambling include: boredom susceptibility, impulsivity, an illusion of control, escape coping, depression and stressful life experiences.