Help For Gambling Problems

Gambling is an activity in which a person stakes something of value, usually money, on a random event with the intention of winning a prize. The event could be anything from a football game to a lottery scratchcard, and the stakes can range from a small amount of money up to a life-changing jackpot. In some forms of gambling, the player’s choice is matched to ‘odds’ set by the betting company – a figure which determines how much they will win if their bet turns out to be successful.

While some people who gamble do so responsibly, many don’t. In addition to causing health, financial and relationship problems, problem gambling can have serious legal consequences. It can also harm the mental wellbeing of those who engage in it and lead to suicide. The good news is that help and support are available for those who have a gambling problem. This may include a combination of individual therapy, family or group counselling and psychoeducation. In some cases, inpatient and residential treatment and rehabilitation programs are also available.

The first thing a person with a gambling problem needs to do is acknowledge the issue and agree on how best to deal with it. This will involve talking openly about their behaviour to someone they trust, such as a friend or a counsellor. It will also involve reducing risk factors, such as taking out credit cards and carrying large sums of cash, and finding new ways to socialise and relax without gambling.