Day: June 3, 2023

Gambling – Is it a Problem?

Whether it’s buying a lotto ticket, betting on horse races or using the pokies, many people gamble at some point. For some people, gambling can become a problem. It’s important to understand why a person might choose to gamble, so you can help them address their behaviour. For example, a person may gamble for coping reasons – it helps them forget their worries or feel more self-confident. They may also gamble to distract themselves from anxiety or depression. If they’re in financial crisis, they might gamble to try and make things better.

Despite the negative impact of gambling, there are positive impacts too. A recent study found that people who gambled were happier than those who didn’t. This could be because gambling gives people a sense of achievement and socialization. Gambling can also improve brain health, particularly when playing a complex game like blackjack, which requires a high level of concentration and strategy.

However, it can be difficult to quantify the benefits of gambling in monetary terms. The concept of “consumer surplus” is often used to measure the benefits of gambling, but this ignores non-monetary factors that can influence happiness, such as relationships and wellbeing. In the case of gambling, this can include a sense of achievement and the socialization that occurs at casino venues.

It’s also important to remember that, just like with any other activity, gambling can lead to harm. It’s important to budget gambling as an expense, not a way to make money. If you’re worried about gambling and your finances, contact StepChange for free debt advice.

The negative effects of gambling can be serious. It’s been linked to domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health problems. It can also lead to bankruptcy and homelessness. These risks increase for people in deprived areas and low socioeconomic groups. It’s also been reported that gambling can increase the risk of a financial crisis. Several studies have shown that gambling is a common cause of financial problems and can increase the need for assistance from family members.

Managing a loved one’s addiction to gambling can be challenging. It’s important to seek support, which can be found through peer groups such as Gamblers Anonymous and a range of online resources. Providing support to someone with a gambling problem can help you understand their perspective and make them feel valued.

If you have a gambling problem, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. A therapist can help you identify the causes of your problem and develop strategies to manage it. They can also help you find a safe environment where you can practise new coping mechanisms. You can ask your therapist for recommendations of local professionals who specialise in gambling addiction. It’s also helpful to speak to friends and family who have overcome a gambling problem. They can offer encouragement and share their own experiences.