Gambling is the act of wagering something of value (usually money) on an event that is based on chance. It is also the activity of placing bets with a goal of winning something of value, such as in the sports betting or scratchcard games popular around the world.
While there are advantages to gambling, such as socialisation and relaxation, it can have negative effects on the health of individuals, including their family, friends, finances, work performance and mental and physical wellbeing. It can also negatively impact on society and contribute to problems in society as a whole.
Some people become addicted to gambling and are at risk of harming themselves or others. It is important to recognise the warning signs of gambling addiction. People who gamble compulsively often find it hard to control their gambling and may try to hide their addiction from friends and family. They may also lie about how much they gamble and where they gamble. They may even start hiding money or possessions that they have won.
Like any other addiction, gambling can be difficult to overcome. It is important to strengthen your support network and seek help from a professional if necessary. It is also helpful to join a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model and can provide invaluable guidance and support. If you’re struggling with a gambling problem, we recommend seeking treatment for it as soon as possible.