Gambling is an activity where people wager something of value on a chance event in the hope of winning something else of value. It is also an activity that can be considered addictive and has consequences for the gambler and those around them. Gambling can be done in many different ways such as betting on sports events, playing poker or taking part in a casino game. However, there are also some risks involved with gambling and it is important to understand the benefits and risks of the activity.
The positive effects of gambling include the development of skills, social interaction and a sense of relaxation. However, it is also important to recognise the negative impacts of gambling and its impact on society as a whole. These impacts can be seen at the individual, interpersonal and community/society levels (Fig. 1). The effects at the individual level are those directly related to the gambler and may include psychological distress, financial strain and an increased risk of debt. The impacts at the interpersonal level are those that affect those who are close to the gambler such as their family and friends. The impacts at the community/society level are those that affect a larger group of people, such as the public services that support the gambling industry and the wider social fabric.
There are some ways to reduce the risk of gambling addiction, including finding other ways to entertain yourself and limiting the time you spend on it. It is also recommended that you only gamble with money that you can afford to lose and never try to recover losses by chasing your bets. If you are feeling like gambling is starting to negatively impact your life, speak to a counsellor about it. They can help you find alternative ways to deal with your problems and provide cognitive behavioural therapy to change the way you think about gambling.
Gambling is a fun and entertaining way to pass the time but it can be dangerous if you don’t know how to play. It is important to have a budget for your entertainment and only ever use this amount for gambling. Never be tempted to try and make up for any losses by gambling more, as this is called the “gambler’s fallacy.” Remember that casinos are designed to make you lose money, so don’t let them take advantage of you. It’s also a good idea to avoid drinking too many cocktails, as they can impair your judgement. It’s also a good idea not to hide your gambling, as this can lead to even more problems. If you are struggling with gambling addiction, contact a counsellor today. They can help you overcome it and improve your quality of life. Our counselors are available 24/7 and are completely free and confidential. They can also offer relationship, career and credit counseling if necessary. Click here for more information.