How to Avoid Gambling Harms


Gambling is a game of chance where you risk money or something of value on an uncertain outcome. You can bet on anything from a football match to a scratchcard. It’s a fun and entertaining way to pass the time, but you have to be careful that you don’t lose any money.

It’s important to understand the difference between betting and gambling before you start playing. The difference is that gambling involves a higher level of risk and a greater probability of losing than betting.

People can be addicted to gambling, and it can affect their physical and mental health, relationships, performance at work or study and get them into trouble with the law and leave them in serious debt and possible homelessness. It can also affect their family, friends and work colleagues.

How to avoid gambling harms

If you have a problem with your gambling, or the gambling of a loved one, here are some things to look out for:

Denial and deprivation

When you gamble, you may use money you don’t have or borrow money to fund it. This could include loans or credit cards, or it might be stealing from your bank account. You might also feel pushed to buy things you can’t afford and have to hide them from your family or others.

This can result in serious financial problems and put your family at risk of falling into debt, so make sure you have a budget in place before you start gambling. It’s best to limit how much you spend, and to only gamble for small amounts at a time.

You might want to consider taking part in an online casino, or a virtual slot machine, as these games don’t have as much risk of loss as physical ones. They can also be played from the comfort of your own home.

The games on these sites are usually controlled by random number generators (RNGs), which make them completely unpredictable. That means you have to be careful not to get too sucked into the excitement of the game and become superstitious, which can lead to negative outcomes.

There are lots of different types of gambling, from scratchcards to lottery tickets, so be sure you know the rules before you go. Then decide how much you are prepared to lose and how much you are happy winning.

It’s important to keep your focus when gambling, so try and take breaks between games if you can. It’s also a good idea to set a time limit for yourself and stick to it.

If you’re worried about your gambling, talk to someone who can help you and explore the options available. You can find help and support online and through self-help groups.

Your family and friends can also be helpful. They can encourage you to seek help, and they might even be able to stop you from gambling altogether.

They can also help you deal with the negative consequences of your gambling, and provide you with strategies to avoid relapse.