Help For Gambling Problems


Gambling involves risking something of value on an event whose outcome is based on chance. It typically involves a financial stake and a prize, although games of skill are also sometimes considered gambling. There are a number of different types of gambling, including horse racing, sports betting and casino games. Some people also gamble online through sites like Betfair.

A number of factors may cause someone to start gambling. They might be trying to relieve boredom, escape from stressful situations or to distract themselves. It’s important to find other ways to spend your time and money, such as hobbies or social activities. It’s also worth thinking about whether underlying mood disorders like depression or anxiety might be making you feel compelled to gamble.

There are many things you can do to help stop gambling becoming a problem. One thing is to try and be more honest with friends and family about the amount you’re spending. Another is to set boundaries in managing your finances. This could mean letting someone else take charge of your credit cards, having the bank make automatic payments or closing down online betting accounts. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of how much you are spending. If you are spending more than you’re winning, stop immediately and don’t be tempted to chase your losses. This is called the gambler’s fallacy and it will almost always lead to more losses.

It’s important to gamble only with disposable income and not money that you need to put aside for bills or rent. It’s also a good idea not to gamble when you’re tired or hungry, as this can affect your decision-making.

Keeping your focus is vital when gambling, especially online. If you find your concentration wandering, try taking regular breaks or playing something other than poker or slot machines. You should also remember that there’s no way to predict what the odds of winning will be, so don’t get superstitious about your hand or spin.

If you have a loved one with gambling problems, it can be hard to know how best to support them. You can offer non-judgemental support, but you may need to get professional advice if the problem has started to have a negative impact on your own life. This could include talking to a GP or considering options like debt counselling with StepChange. It can also be useful to join a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous which is modelled on Alcoholics Anonymous and has been proven to be effective for many people. You can also seek help for underlying mood problems, such as depression or anxiety, which are often associated with compulsive gambling. There are no medications specifically for gambling disorders, but some drugs can be used to treat mood disorders and prevent relapse. These are often prescribed by psychiatrists and may be recommended for people who have a family history of gambling addiction. Alternatively, you can seek help from a counselor or therapist who specialises in treating gambling disorders.