Gambling is risking something of value on an event that is determined at least in part by chance. It can be anything from playing a card game, betting on horse races or even making a bet on an office pool. It can also include activities that require some skills, such as gambling on lottery games or betting on the outcome of a game of poker.

Harmful gambling is an issue that affects many people and can cause damage to them, their families and communities. It can also lead to financial problems and self-harm, including thoughts of suicide.

Problem gambling is a common problem that affects people of all ages and social groups. It can be a sign of other mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse. It can also be a sign of problems with other aspects of your life, such as relationships or work.

How to recognise a gambling problem

The first step to identifying a problem is understanding what gambling is and how it affects people. It is important to know the type of gambling that you are doing, where it takes place and how much you are spending. This will help you understand if it is harmful and what to do next.

How to stop a gambling problem

The best way to stop a gambling problem is to limit how much you gamble and set limits for when and how long you will gamble. It is also important to stop chasing losses and never put more money in when you have lost too much. This is called the gambler’s fallacy and can be very dangerous.

How to stop a gambling addiction

If you are having problems with your gambling it is important to seek support from an expert. There are many resources available that can help you find the right treatment for you.

Where you live and where you gamble are also factors that can influence whether you have a gambling problem or not. This can be because of the number and type of casinos and other gambling facilities nearby or due to government regulations.

Your coping styles, beliefs and social learning could also affect whether you develop a gambling problem. Depending on your personality, you may be more or less likely to develop a gambling problem and it is important to seek support if you think you are struggling with it.

Why you might have a gambling problem

The main reason why some people have problems with gambling is because they are struggling to manage their money. They may be feeling stressed, have low self-esteem or feel a sense of guilt about their gambling.

Having a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, is also a strong risk factor for developing problems with gambling. This is because they can trigger addictive behaviours that can be triggered by gambling, such as cravings to win money or trying to hide the amount of time and money that you are spending on gambling.