Gambling Addiction


Gambling is an activity where people risk money or something of value to predict the outcome of a game that involves chance, such as a lottery, scratchcards, fruit machines or betting with friends. If they predict correctly they win the amount of money they have gambled; however, if they are wrong they lose it. People can also gamble in casinos, on the internet and via sports betting. Some people are more susceptible to gambling addiction than others and it can be difficult to stop. If you think you may have a problem with gambling, it’s important to seek professional help. There are a number of ways to get non-judgemental, confidential support including the GamCare helpline.

There is no one type of gambling that is more addictive than others. Any form of gambling can lead to problems if it becomes a significant focus of someone’s life. While gambling can be fun and exciting, it is important to keep in mind that the chances of winning are always against you. It is also important to avoid becoming superstitious about the game and to understand that everything in a casino or online casino is controlled by random number generators.

Gambling has many negative effects on a person’s well-being and can cause serious financial, social, labour, health and psychological problems. These effects can be structured into three classes – costs and benefits; and impacts that occur at personal, interpersonal and society/community levels. Some of these impacts are immediate and short-term, while others have long-term effects on a person’s mental, physical and emotional health.

People can reduce the harm of gambling by maintaining a balanced lifestyle and spending time with family, friends and other activities that are not gambling related. Getting regular exercise, eating well and sleeping enough can all increase a person’s resilience to stress and improve their ability to resist gambling temptation. Avoiding triggers, such as gambling in high stress situations or around other people who are gambling, can also help. In addition, it is helpful to limit how much time a person spends gambling and to stay away from casinos and other gaming establishments.

If you think someone you know has a gambling problem, it is important to talk to them in a supportive and concerned manner. This is more likely to be successful than being deceptive or aggressive. It is also important to recognise that a person who has a gambling problem might not be ready to discuss their issues or change their behaviour. This is a frustrating and disappointing situation, but you can still offer support and try to find a solution together. If you are unable to come to an agreement, you can seek professional advice for yourself or for the person who is suffering from gambling addiction. You can also access our gambling helpline for non-judgemental, confidential support. Our helpline is open 24/7.