Gambling involves risking money or something of value on an event involving chance, with the intent to win something else of value. The event can be a game of chance, such as a roll of the dice or a lottery ticket, or it can be an activity that requires skill, such as playing poker or chess. Gambling is distinguished from other activities that involve risking something of value, such as taking out insurance or investing in stocks and bonds, by the absence of strategy and the presence of an uncertain outcome.
In addition to the potential for addiction, gambling can cause psychological and social harms. Some people become depressed, or they may lose jobs or relationships as a result of their gambling behavior. Others experience anxiety, which can trigger gambling or make it worse. Regardless of the reason, anyone who experiences any type of harm as a result of gambling should seek help.
The current definition of gambling related harm recognises that people may experience harm at any point in their life, not just during or after a specific event. This allows for the measurement of gambling related harm that is consistent with standard epidemiological protocols used in public health. The new definition also acknowledges that harms can occur to the person who gambles, their affected others and the broader community.
Using medication, therapy or self-help programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous, can be helpful to combat gambling addiction. You can also learn to identify and avoid triggers that lead you to gamble, such as stress or boredom. You can also find healthier ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, like exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.
You can also try to avoid compulsive gambling by setting clear boundaries for yourself. Start by determining how much money you’re willing to play with, and never take out more than that amount. Stay away from casino floor temptations, including free cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, which can trigger gambling addiction. Finally, don’t chase your losses; thinking you’re due for a big win will only increase your chances of losing even more. Also, don’t fall for the “gambler’s fallacy,” which is the belief that you can recover your losses by betting more money.