How to Recognise a Gambling Addiction


Gambling is an activity in which people risk something of value (money or a physical prize) on an event whose outcome is uncertain. There are many types of gambling, including lottery tickets, scratch-offs, video poker and slot machines. While some people can gamble responsibly, others may be addicted to the activity and it can have a serious impact on their lives.

It can be difficult to recognise a problem with gambling. When someone starts to gamble compulsively they often hide their behaviour and lie about how much time or money they are spending on the game. This can be extremely damaging to a person’s family, friends and work.

Despite its popularity, it is important to remember that all gambling is inherently risky. It is important to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose and to never chase losses. Always set a budget for yourself before you start gambling and stick to it. This way you will not be tempted to spend more than you can afford to lose.

It is important to seek help if you are concerned that you have a gambling addiction. Seek support from a loved one, a counsellor, or a gambling recovery group such as Gam-Anon. Try to engage in new activities and fill the void that gambling was once occupying in your life, such as a hobby or exercise. Alternatively, consider residential or inpatient treatment and rehab programs, which are aimed at those with severe gambling addictions that require around-the-clock care.