Gambling is the act of betting on an event that has a chance of occurring and involves risking something of value, which usually means money but can also be anything else, such as a possession. Whether it’s buying a Lotto ticket, betting on a football game or playing the pokies, everyone gambles to some extent – but gambling can become problematic. If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of the symptoms below it’s important to seek help, our counselling services are free, confidential and available 24/7.
When gambling, it’s important to consider the odds of winning and losing. This can be done by looking at the probabilities of various outcomes (known as ‘odds’), which are set by the betting company and indicate the chances of winning or losing. The odds are based on probability and a ratio of rewards to risks, so it’s impossible to guarantee that you’ll win or lose every time.
When gambling, it’s important to set limits for yourself – both in terms of time and money. Start with a fixed amount that you’re prepared to lose, and stop when you reach your limit. Don’t gamble when you’re feeling stressed or down, and don’t chase your losses – the more you try to make back what you’ve lost, the more likely you are to lose even more. Seek financial advice if you’re struggling and reduce risk factors by avoiding the use of credit cards, taking out loans, carrying large amounts of cash with you or using gaming venues for socialising.