What You Need to Know About Gambling
Gambling is a common pastime that involves the risk of losing money. It can be a fun way to spend an evening, but it’s also a serious problem if you or someone you know is struggling with gambling addiction.
Most people gamble at some point in their lives, but for some people it can become an addiction. This can impact on your relationships, your health and your performance at work or study. It can even lead to debt and homelessness.
Understanding gambling can help you or someone you know play safer and enjoy it more. Learn about the different types of gambling, including card games, fruit machines, video-draw poker and slot machines. It can also help you decide when to stop gambling, and understand why it may be difficult to give up.
Symptoms of Gambling problems
If you or someone you know is a problem gambler, you may have many symptoms that can include financial loss, debt, hiding your behaviour from others and becoming depressed. Other signs of gambling problems include a high urge to gamble, poor control over your spending, difficulty with family or work relationships and stealing to finance your gambling.
Adolescents, women and older adults are at greater risk of developing a gambling problem than other age groups. This is because of a combination of social and emotional factors that increase the risk of gambling problems.
Whether you are thinking about starting to gamble or already have an addiction, the best place to start is by talking to a specialist. Counseling can help you to identify the reasons behind your gambling and understand the effects on you and your family.
The National Gambling Helpline is a free and confidential service available to anyone in the United States who needs help. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can be accessed through any mobile phone or computer with Internet access.
Support for your loved one
If you are concerned that a loved one has a gambling problem, you should get help for them. You can find support in your community and online, from friends and family, or by seeking professional help from a gambling treatment centre.
Harms from gambling are a major concern for policy makers and researchers. The Queensland Government defines harm as ‘the physical or mental health consequences of problematic gambling’, while the New Zealand 2003 Gambling Act definition is more broad and includes ‘personal, social or economic harms associated with gambling’.
A wide range of social and economic problems are linked to gambling, including high costs for goods and services, poor job performance, high levels of crime and debt and poor public safety. There is also a high rate of self-harm and suicide related to gambling problems.
Using the internet to gamble is increasingly common and can be an effective method of avoiding gambling centres and casinos, and reducing the amount of money spent on gambling activities. However, online gambling can be dangerous if you are not careful and it can also be illegal in some areas.