What is Problem Gambling?


Gambling is an activity that involves placing something of value at risk on a random event with the intent of winning something else of value. This could be money, goods or services. Gambling is a popular activity and a major international commercial industry. It is often regulated and may be restricted to specific activities such as poker, bingo, slots, scratchcards, cards, racing, horse or dog racing, dice, casino games and sporting events. There is a high level of psychological dependence associated with gambling and it can lead to problems including financial difficulties, debt, addiction and family issues.

A person is considered to be a problem gambler when they exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

Is preoccupied with gambling (e.g., has persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences or thinking about ways to win more). Frequently gambles when depressed, anxious, or sad. Frequently loses more than they win and is often unwilling to quit. Often hides their gambling from friends or relatives. Frequently jeopardises important relationships, work or educational or career opportunities due to gambling. Frequently gambles to try and overcome financial distress.

Problem gambling is very common, but it is not always recognised. Many people who struggle with gambling have lost their homes, their jobs and even their families. Many have also ended up in legal trouble. However, there are many treatment options available for those who have a gambling problem, including individual and group therapy, family therapy, marriage counseling, career counselling and credit counselling.

A person’s decision to gamble is a personal choice, but it can be influenced by many factors such as social and cultural influences, personality, genetics and environment. In addition, a person’s mood is a significant predictor of their risk for developing a gambling disorder. Research shows that people who have depression are more likely to develop a gambling disorder than those who do not.

In order to minimise your chances of becoming addicted to gambling, you should set money and time limits for yourself. You should also avoid using your credit card or taking out loans and carrying large amounts of money with you. You should also avoid gambling venues and other places where you might be tempted to gamble. In addition, it is a good idea to talk about your gambling with someone you trust and who won’t judge you. This will help you stay motivated to stick with your goal to reduce or give up gambling. Moreover, you should also try to find an alternative recreational or social activity.