How to Prevent Gambling Addiction
Gambling is risking money or something of value (such as possessions) on an event involving chance, with the intent of winning a prize. In some cases, strategy is involved but, generally speaking, the outcome of a gamble depends on the randomness of luck and there are no guarantees.
The most common type of gambling is betting on sporting events or horse racing. Other examples include lotteries, scratch cards and casino games. Some people also gamble by speculating about business or stock market investments. Regardless of what you choose to gamble on, it is important that you know the risks and take steps to reduce your chances of becoming harmfully addicted to gambling.
It can be difficult to know when your gambling is getting out of control. Many people try to minimise or deny the problem, even when it affects their physical or mental health. They may start to lie to friends and family about their gambling, hide cash or credit card receipts, or use money that they should be spending on bills or other necessities.
One of the most obvious signs that gambling is becoming a problem is losing more than you can afford to lose. If you are constantly losing more than you can afford, it is a good idea to seek professional help. Gambling problems can have a significant impact on people’s lives, including their family, work and relationships. They can also cause financial difficulties and lead to homelessness.
In general, people who are more likely to develop gambling problems are those with a history of emotional and psychological trauma or substance abuse. Some people may also be genetically predisposed to gambling behaviour or have specific coping styles, social learning and beliefs that influence their behaviour.
For example, some people believe that certain rituals can bring them luck or that they are more likely to win than other people. These beliefs, in combination with a desire to win back their losses, can be extremely dangerous and are often the source of harmful gambling behaviour.
The best way to prevent gambling addiction is to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. This can be achieved by setting money and time limits for yourself before you start gambling. It is also a good idea to never chase your losses as this will usually lead to bigger and bigger losses. You can also take steps to make it harder for yourself to gamble by removing all credit cards, closing online gambling accounts and keeping only a small amount of cash on you when you are out. If you’re worried about your gambling, we offer free, confidential counselling 24/7. Our counsellors can provide you with support and advice to manage your problem, as well as helping you to find a more meaningful life that is free from the harms of gambling.