What is Gambling?

Gambling is when you risk something of value, such as money or material items, to predict the outcome of an event based on chance. For example, betting on a football team to win a match or playing a scratchcard are both gambling. This is because the ‘odds’ set out by the betting company will determine how much money you could win, and these are often not very obvious.

People gamble for many different reasons. For some it’s a social activity and they enjoy going to casinos or other events with friends. Others have financial problems and find it a way to escape the stress of their situation. But it is possible for anyone to become addicted to gambling. And it can affect all walks of life, regardless of economic status, culture or education levels.

Problem gambling is when it becomes an obsession and negatively impacts your daily life. This can lead to family and employment issues, financial disaster and even criminal behaviour. It can also cause mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

There are a number of effective treatments for gambling addiction, including family therapy and marriage, career and credit counselling. Some people also need inpatient or residential treatment programmes for severe gambling addiction. These programmes provide a safe and supportive environment to help you overcome your addiction, with around-the-clock support and supervision from experienced staff. These are particularly useful for those who have a co-occurring mental illness such as depression or anxiety, or who have been involved in traumatic events that may have caused them to develop a gambling disorder.