Gambling is when you risk money or something of value for the chance of winning a prize. It can be on anything from scratchcards and fruit machines to horse racing or sports betting. It can be fun and exciting, but it also has serious risks that can affect your life.
Whether you are playing in a casino, a pub or online, it’s important to know the risks and find ways to manage your gambling. You can protect yourself by making sure you play responsibly, don’t get into trouble with the law and don’t take on too much debt.
It’s normal to gamble, but if it’s becoming an issue for you it can be harmful to your health, relationships and performance at work or study. It can also lead to serious financial problems and possibly homelessness.
Talking to someone you trust can help if you’re worried about your gambling. This can be a friend, family member or a professional counsellor.
Reduce your gambling – Control your cash, don’t get into debt and stop using gaming venues as an escape from reality.
Learn new things – Fill in the gap that gambling leaves with new hobbies and activities.
Identify the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction – If you think you may be addicted, it’s important to talk about your problem with a professional. The earlier you start treatment, the better chance you have of finding a long-term solution to your problem.