Gambling is a risky activity where you wager something of value on a random event with the intent to win something else of value. It requires three elements to be present: consideration, risk, and a prize.
Mental health professionals define gambling as an addiction. This addiction is characterized by repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
It is a behavioral addiction and can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT will help you recognize your beliefs around betting and how you feel when you gamble.
If you are a gambling addict, your support network can help you recover. Reach out to family and friends who have experienced a similar addiction, or join a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous.
Set time and money limits when gambling. Only gamble when you can afford to lose what you are playing for.
Never gamble on credit. This can lead to bigger losses if you try to win your money back.
Create a budget for your weekly entertainment expenses, and stick to it. Make it a personal rule to only gamble with disposable income, not money you have saved for rent or bills.
Don’t gamble when you are feeling depressed, upset, or in pain. This can make it harder to resist the urge to gamble, and can lead to larger losses.
It is also important to avoid chasing your losses. This is called the “gambler’s fallacy.” If you start thinking you can win back your money by gambling more, it’s time to stop.