A gamble involves putting something of value on the outcome of a random event. It can be anything from buying a lottery ticket to playing a scratchcard. Often the prize is money, but gambling can also take place with other items of value, such as marbles or cards in games like Pogs and Magic: The Gathering.
People may gamble to relieve unpleasant feelings, for example, after a difficult day at work or following an argument with their spouse. They may also gamble because they’re bored or lonely. However, there are better and healthier ways to manage moods and alleviate boredom, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.
Some people are prone to gambling, and they develop a problem when they start to lose control of their money and other things that matter in their lives. It is estimated that one pathological gambler can affect at least seven other people, including family members and friends.
The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is recognising that you have a problem, which can be hard, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money and strained or broken relationships because of your addiction. Seek help now – it’s free and confidential. Getting the right support can help you change your behaviour and reclaim your life.