Whether it’s buying a Lotto ticket, placing a bet on a sporting event or using the pokies, gambling is a popular activity that involves risking money or anything of value in return for a chance to win. It’s an activity that’s been around for centuries and has been both highly popular and suppressed by law in many areas.
While some people gamble for fun, others develop a problem and begin to lose control. The problem can be devastating to individuals and families, and it can result in lost income, debt and strained relationships. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for people with gambling problems.
The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is to acknowledge that you have one. While this can be incredibly difficult, it is a crucial step toward recovery. If you’re struggling with a gambling addiction, don’t suffer in silence – get help now by finding a licensed and vetted therapist who can provide the support you need.
Gambling is a widespread international commercial activity, and some estimates place annual turnover at $10 trillion worldwide (illegal betting may exceed this figure). It is often conducted with money or items of value that have no cash equivalent, such as marbles or game pieces in games like marbles, Pogs, Magic: The Gathering, or collectible trading cards. Longitudinal studies of gambling are not yet common, and research comparing pathological gambling to substance abuse is generally lacking, possibly because of differences in theoretic conceptualizations of pathology and treatment goals.