Gambling has long been a popular activity for some, but for others it can be dangerous. For people who have a gambling problem it can be difficult to stop and can lead to serious financial problems. There are also a number of other issues that can be caused by gambling, and if you are worried about your own or someone else’s gambling habits it is important to seek professional help.
What is gambling?
Gambling is an activity where you risk something of value in the hope of winning something that is of less value. This can be money, goods or services. People gamble for a variety of reasons, from the excitement and thrill of winning to simply enjoying the activity itself. The gambling industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and there are a number of different ways to gamble including online, in casinos and on sports events.
The history of gambling is a long and complex one. It has been a socially acceptable activity in many countries for centuries but it has also been suppressed and illegal in others. In recent times the popularity of gambling has increased along with the development of new technologies that have made it easier and safer to gamble.
Throughout history people have used gambling to try and predict the future. For example, in ancient China and Rome people would use dice and other devices to attempt to determine the outcome of a battle or an election. The Bible also mentions casting lots to determine fate. Some historians suggest that this is a form of gambling, but others argue that it was more likely an attempt to gain knowledge or insight.
If you have a gambling problem it can be hard to break the habit, especially when it has become an integral part of your life and socialisation. Changing your routine can help, as can strengthening your support network and finding healthy alternatives to gambling venues. It is a good idea to only gamble with money that you are prepared to lose and never use money that is needed for bills or rent. Putting in place limits for how much time and money you will spend on gambling can also be helpful.
If you are struggling with a gambling addiction and feel that it is having a negative impact on your life it’s important to speak to a counsellor. We offer free, confidential and non-judgemental support. You can call us on 1800 888 266 or chat with us online. Our counsellors are available 24 hours a day.