Is Gambling a Problem?


Gambling is any activity in which people stake something of value — including money or other items — with the hope of winning something more valuable. It can take place in casinos, at sports events, on the Internet and in other places. It is possible for gambling to lead to a variety of problems, from minor ones to serious addictions that affect health, relationships and finances.

For some, gambling is a way to self-soothe unpleasant emotions, such as boredom or depression, or it may be used to relieve stress. Others gamble as a way to socialize or to have fun. But there are healthier and more effective ways to relieve unpleasant feelings and have fun, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques. If you’re worried that your gambling is becoming a problem, seek help. There are a variety of organisations that offer support, assistance and counselling for those affected by problem gambling.

Some people are more at risk for developing a gambling disorder than others. Some factors that increase the chances of developing a problem include age (compulsive gambling is more common in young and middle-aged adults) and sex (men are more likely to develop a gambling problem than women). A history of depression or other mood disorders also increases the likelihood of a gambling disorder. In addition, people who have family members with a gambling problem are at greater risk for developing one themselves.