Gambling is when you stake something of value – usually money or something else of value – on a game that has a chance to give you a prize. You can bet on anything from the lottery to racing horses. It can be legal, illegal or just fun to play and enjoy.
The thrill of ‘taking a risk’ is one of the main attractions of gambling, but there are many things to consider before you start betting. Firstly, it’s worth thinking about the odds and whether you are likely to win. This will help you to make informed decisions when you or a loved one gambles.
If you’re unsure about the risks of gambling, talk to someone about it. They will be able to explain the odds and how they work, and advise you on how to minimise the risk of losing.
When you go to the casino, don’t tip the dealers or cocktail waitresses in cash – always give them a small chip. This will keep you in control of your spending, and stop you from wasting too much money.
Never chase your losses, or think that you’ll get lucky again – this is the “gambler’s fallacy.” If you think that you are going to be able to recoup your money by playing longer, then it’s time to stop immediately.
A good rule of thumb is to allocate a part of your disposable income for gambling, and never use money that you need to save for bills or rent. This way, you know that the total amount you have allocated for gambling will always be there when you need it and you can avoid chasing your losses.
You can also try and limit your gambling to a specific amount of time, or even to an hour a day. Having an alarm set up that will tell you when you are ready to stop can be a great help.
If you find that your gambling is affecting your relationships or finances, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Therapy is a powerful tool for combating problem gambling, and can help you to overcome addiction and solve any issues it may be causing.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often used to treat gambling addiction, and will teach you how to change your thoughts and behaviours so that they don’t trigger your urges to gamble. It can also help you to address the underlying mood disorders that are a result of your compulsive gambling.
There are many support networks out there for people with gambling problems, and they can be a big help in helping you to overcome your addiction. These include family and friends, as well as online and offline communities that support people with gambling problems.
Getting treatment is the best step you can take when it comes to overcoming your addiction. It’s crucial to find the right form of treatment that will suit your needs and provide you with the tools you need to remain free from addiction for life.