Gambling is a form of risk taking where people wager money or other valuables on an event involving chance. It can take many forms including putting a bet on the horse race, football accumulators or using pokies. It can also include lotteries, instant scratch cards and speculating on business, insurance or stock market prices. It’s important to understand how gambling works so you can make smart decisions about your finances and avoid putting yourself at risk.
Learn to set and stick to a time limit for yourself when you’re gambling. Leaving the table or machine when you reach your time limit, even if you’re winning can help you to control your impulses. Try to not use credit cards or borrow money when you’re gambling. Try to spend time with friends who don’t gamble or find other ways of socialising and relaxing, such as exercise, reading a book or taking up a hobby.
Seek treatment for any underlying conditions that may contribute to your compulsive gambling, such as depression or substance abuse. You can also seek therapy that teaches you how to change your unhealthy gambling thoughts and behaviours, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
It can be difficult coping with a family member’s gambling addiction. If they’re putting your financial, work and personal relationships at risk, talk to us about the help that’s available. It’s free, confidential and available 24/7. Our counsellors can help you deal with the effects of gambling on your life and your relationship with others.