Gambling is when you risk money or something of value to predict the outcome of a game that involves chance. This can include gambling on a sporting event, playing scratchcards or fruit machines, or betting with friends.
Some people gamble for the thrill of winning, while others do it to alleviate stress, take their minds off problems, or socialise with other people. It’s important to understand the reasons you gamble, so that you can work towards reducing or stopping your gambling habits.
It’s a form of entertainment, not a way to make money
You shouldn’t use your gambling for any other purpose, including making extra money or spending more than you can afford to lose. Before you visit a casino, set a budget for yourself and stick to it.
Don’t gamble on credit, either!
In commercial gambling, the game is organized so that an advantage goes to the dealer, banker (who collects and redistributes wagers), or some other participant. This creates inequality, which in turn increases the likelihood that one person will win.
If you have a problem with your gambling, seek help immediately!
Recovering from a gambling addiction can be difficult. It takes time and commitment, and even the most dedicated addict may relapse from time to time. But the good news is that recovery can be possible, with help and support from family, friends, and professional counselors.
The first step is to decide that you want to stop gambling. Do not ignore the urge, but instead say to yourself: “I will wait for a few minutes, or an hour, before I decide to gamble.” Then do whatever you need to do to stop your temptation and keep it from controlling your life.
Do not give in to the temptation to gamble, especially when you are depressed, feeling upset, or having a financial crisis. This is often what makes people think about gambling and lead to a problem in the first place.
Avoid gambling when you are depressed, stressed, or in pain. This can make it more likely that you will gamble, which will increase your losses and damage your mental health.
It is also a good idea to make it a personal rule not to gamble on credit, or to limit the amount of money you have on hand.
If you do have a financial problem, talk to a debt counsellor for free, confidential advice and support. You can also contact StepChange, a national debt charity that offers free and confidential help to people with financial problems.
You should also keep gambling out of your home and away from children, as it can be dangerous. It can cause your relationships to suffer if you gamble too much, and can be stressful for your family.
Choosing to quit gambling can be hard, but it’s an important decision for anyone who has a problem with gambling. Recovering from a gambling addiction is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.