What is Gambling?

Gambling is placing something of value on an event that has a chance of happening. The activity can take many forms including lotteries, online gaming and casino games. People gamble for a variety of reasons including the adrenaline rush, socialising, or as an escape from worries and stress. For some, gambling can become a problem and lead to financial difficulties. If you are concerned about someone’s gambling, speak to them and encourage them to seek help. There are a number of options available, including treatment, support groups and self-help tips.

It is important to understand that people with gambling disorder are unable to control their behaviour, and that it has a significant impact on their personal relationships and health. There is a link between gambling disorder and depression and other mental health issues, which makes people at higher risk of harmful gambling.

Gambling has many impacts on individuals, their family, friends and the community. It is often a hidden addiction because it is done privately, away from others. Gambling can cause a range of problems, from reducing self-esteem to putting finances at risk and even leading to suicide.

If you are worried about a friend or loved one’s gambling, try to open up the conversation without blaming them. Try to focus on the impact of their behaviour and what they might do differently, for example, suggesting they talk to a professional or setting a limit for how much money they can spend on gambling each week.