Whether it’s a scratch card, a bet on the lottery or using a fruit machine, gambling is an activity that involves risking something of value in the hope of gaining more. It can be fun and exciting, but it can also cause serious problems. Gambling can affect health, relationships, work and study, and lead to debt. There’s a strong link between mental health problems and harmful gambling, so it’s important to seek help if you think you or someone you know may have a problem.
Compulsive gambling, or gambling disorder, is when you can’t stop gambling even though it’s causing harm to your life. It can be hard to recognise, but it can affect people from all walks of life. It can be triggered by depression, stress and substance abuse. There are also links to suicide and family violence, especially in young children.
Gambling can take many forms, including betting on football games and sports events, playing cards or board games for money, and online casinos or poker games. It can be a social or a private activity, or it can be a career.
When you gamble, it’s a good idea to set a time limit for yourself and stick to it. You can also make it a rule to not gamble while drunk or when you’re upset or depressed. It’s also important to expect to lose – the odds are that you will lose – and only gamble with money you can afford to lose.