What is Gambling?


Gambling involves risking something of value (usually money) on an event with an element of chance and the potential to win a prize. It can take many forms, such as lottery tickets, scratch-offs, casino games, races, sporting events and the Internet. It is important to remember that any form of gambling can result in losing money.

People gamble for different reasons. For some, it is a way to relieve boredom or stress; others do it to socialize with friends or for the excitement of winning. Regardless of the motive, if the gambler is having trouble controlling their spending or feeling depressed about their gambling behaviours, they should seek help from a therapist.

Pathological gambling is characterized by persistent and recurrent maladaptive patterns of behaviour, which meet the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV for pathological gambling disorder. It can affect people from all walks of life, but it usually starts in adolescence or early adulthood and may develop over time. Men and women are equally likely to be affected.

People who are battling a gambling addiction or problem should get support from family and friends, avoid tempting environments and websites, control their finances by putting them into an account that they cannot access and fill the hole left by gambling with other activities. If they are unable to give up gambling altogether, then inpatient treatment and rehab programs are available. Seek help for any underlying mood disorders that are contributing to or made worse by the gambling problem, such as depression and anxiety.

Posted in: Gambling