Gambling is risking something of value on an event that is determined at least in part by chance, with the intent to win something else of value. This can include betting on sports events, buying lottery or scratch tickets and even playing online casino games. There are also other activities that involve a risk, such as playing bingo, using the pokies or purchasing lottery tickets.
Gambling has impacts at the personal, interpersonal and community/society level. These impacts have a financial, labour and health/wellbeing impact on people who are not necessarily gamblers themselves. Examples of these impacts are increased debt and financial strain for family members, the effect escalating problem gambling can have on people’s lives (i.e., causing problems with their work, health and relationships) and external costs incurred by the community due to gambling.
Many people gamble for recreation and to unwind or socialize with friends. However, there are healthier ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.
The first step to overcoming a gambling addiction is realizing you have one, but it’s often a difficult decision to make, especially when you’ve lost a lot of money or strained or broken relationships. If you think you have a gambling problem, seek help from a trained therapist or support group. Getting treatment for a gambling problem is possible, and there are many people who have recovered from their addiction.