Gambling is an activity where you stake money on a game or event that has an unpredictable outcome. The game or event can be natural, such as a race, or it can be chance-based, such as playing the lottery, scratch cards or roulette.
It can be a fun way to spend time with friends, but it can also be addictive and cause serious problems in your life. If you’re worried that gambling is causing harm to your family or finances, there are a few things you can do to help.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It may feel like you’re the only one with a problem, but there are many people who struggle with similar issues to you. Reach out to your friends and family, or consider a program such as Gamblers Anonymous. This can provide you with a support group and invaluable advice.
2. Set boundaries in managing your budget
It’s easy to get carried away and lose track of how much money you’re spending on gambling. That’s why it’s important to have a budget for this and not let it affect your lifestyle.
3. Don’t chase your losses
You can get addicted to a certain amount of money, so when you start thinking that you could win back all of your money by playing a little longer, stop immediately. This is the “gambler’s fallacy.”
4. Avoid risky behaviour
You should never play with money you can’t afford to lose. That’s because you can’t predict when you will win, and the odds are stacked against you. You should try to limit your spending to a specific percentage of your disposable income, so you know exactly how much money you’re allowed to spend on gambling each month.
5. Be careful of the consequences of gambling
You’ll often hear about negative financial outcomes when it comes to gambling, but this isn’t always true. In fact, gambling is a relatively safe pastime if you are aware of the risks and how to avoid them.
6. Get help for underlying mood disorders
Depression, stress, substance abuse or anxiety can be a trigger for gambling, and they can also worsen your problem if you continue to gamble. The problem can be even worse if you’re already compulsive about it, so seek help for any issues that you have before you gamble.
7. Talk to someone about it
It can be difficult to admit that you have a problem with gambling, especially if you’ve been a long-time habitual gambler. It can feel like a waste of time and effort, but talking about your gambling with someone can help you take the first step towards recovery.
8. Remember that your family isn’t alone in this situation
It can feel incredibly stressful to be the caretaker of a loved one with a gambling problem. You might be tempted to let them spend more money or try to get them to quit on their own, but it’s best to resist these temptations and seek professional help.