Gambling is the act of wagering something of value on an uncertain event with the aim of winning money or a prize. While most forms of gambling involve the immediate outcome, some types of gambling are based on future events. As new technology has become available, the lines between gambling and betting have blurred. While some forms of gambling involve wagering on sports, lottery games, or other events that might happen in the future, others can take place at any time.
The more forms of gambling a person engages in, the greater the risk of developing a problem. It’s difficult to know which form of gambling is most problematic. However, there is one factor that seems to increase the risk of developing a gambling problem: the desire for novelty. Gamblers have a tendency to be attracted to different types of gambling, ranging from video games to lottery tickets. For example, a person with a gambling disorder will spend time playing online slots, compared to a person with a different personality trait.
If your loved one is suffering from a gambling addiction, the first step to recovery is to establish a support network. Reach out to your friends and family, and try to form new friendships outside the gambling world. Enrolling in an educational course, volunteering for a worthy cause, or joining a peer support group may also be helpful. Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step recovery program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. It is important to have a sponsor, who is a former gambler who will offer guidance and support.