Whether it’s buying a Lotto ticket, playing the pokies or betting on sports events, most people gamble at some point in their lives. It can be fun, but it’s important to know the risks and how to recognise a gambling problem. This article explains what gambling is, how it works and what to do if you or someone you care about has a gambling problem.
The risk of compulsive gambling can be caused by a number of things, including:
Urges are the main cause of gambling addiction. People may experience urges to gamble when they are bored, stressed or depressed, and even when they are feeling good. Often, these feelings are triggered by the idea of a quick win or an exciting prospect. Those who suffer from gambling problems tend to feel these urges more strongly than others. In addition, some people are genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviours and impulsivity, and this can be a contributing factor to gambling addiction.
Another common trigger is a lack of family or social support. This can make it harder to identify a gambling problem and get help. It is also a risk factor when people live with someone who has a gambling problem, as they are more likely to be exposed to temptation.
It is important to understand that gambling is not a way to make money, but rather an expensive form of entertainment. This is why it’s best to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. It’s also a good idea to set a time limit for how long you want to gamble and leave when you reach this limit, whether you are winning or losing. Never try to ‘chase’ your losses, as this will usually lead to bigger losses.
Many governments regulate and tax gambling, as it can bring in a significant amount of revenue. However, this can also lead to corruption and other problems. In addition, a growing number of people are using the internet to gamble, which has increased the accessibility and prevalence of gambling. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult for those who are trying to quit gambling to avoid relapse.
In order to prevent a relapse, it is important for people who are trying to quit gambling to surround themselves with supportive people and to avoid tempting environments and websites. In addition, it is crucial to establish healthy financial boundaries, such as not gambling with credit cards or online accounts. It is also a good idea to find other hobbies and activities to replace gambling in your life, as this will help to keep you occupied and reduce the temptation to gamble. If you have questions about gambling and how to deal with it, please don’t hesitate to contact a counsellor. Our counsellors are available 24/7 and are completely confidential. They can help you with everything from understanding your gambling habits to overcoming a gambling problem. You can speak to a counsellor by calling 1800 812 666 or visiting our website.