Preventing Harm From Gambling
Whether you’re at the casino, the race track or playing an online game of chance, gambling is a risky activity that can have serious consequences for your health. It can also be addictive, and affect your relationships, finances and quality of life.
Understanding how gambling works and why it’s risky is an important step in preventing harm from gambling. You can reduce your chances of getting a bad outcome by learning how to play the game, using strategies and knowing when to walk away.
Gambling is a game of chance where you stake something valuable on a random event for the opportunity to win more. This can involve anything from placing a bet on a sporting event to betting on the outcome of a lottery. It can be a fun and exciting way to pass the time, but it’s also a risky way to make money.
It’s important to set limits on your gambling so you know how much money and how long you can gamble. This can be as simple as allocating a certain amount of disposable income to gambling every week, rather than just having money to spend whenever you feel like it.
Limiting your gambling will help you to stop if you lose too much. It will also help you to avoid feeling stressed out if you have a big loss. If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re addicted, talk to your doctor or seek professional help.
Strengthen your support network
The best way to beat a problem like gambling is to get help from people you trust, who won’t judge you. These could be family members, friends or a professional counsellor. They can help you find ways to cope when gambling stops, and give you the tools you need to stay strong.
Talk about your gambling with someone you trust who won’t judge you, and who can support you in deciding to cut down or quit. This could be your parents, a friend or a professional counsellor who has experience of giving up gambling and can guide you through the process.
Keep track of your spending and time spent on gambling by keeping a journal, or by using a digital diary. This will help you to see how much you’re spending and where it’s coming from, and will give you a clearer picture of how harmful your habits are.
Set a budget for your gambling and stick to it. If you spend more than your budget, it’s a sign that you need to change something about your habits.
Think about how your gambling affects your life and what you want from it. If you’re worried about the impact of your gambling on your family, home or work, seek help from a psychologist or therapist.
Treat any underlying mood disorders that are contributing to your gambling behaviour and helping to fuel your addiction. These can be depression, stress, anxiety or substance abuse.
Ensure you’re not being financially harmed by your gambling habits and seek advice from your financial adviser, credit union or local council if you’re having problems with your bank account. They can help you sort out any debts you may have and recommend a better way of managing your money.