How to Stop Gambling

Whether it’s buying a Lotto ticket, betting on the horses or a sporting event, playing the pokies, or wagering on office pools, gambling involves risking something of value on an event that is determined by chance. Some people gamble for the thrill of winning, while others use it as a way to socialise, escape from worries or stress or change their mood. But for some, gambling can become addictive. If you find yourself wagering more than you can afford to lose, or if your gambling behaviour is causing harm to your family, work or health, there are treatment options available.

The key to stopping gambling is to make sure that you are not gambling with money that you need to pay bills or for essentials like food and housing. This means getting rid of credit cards, putting someone else in charge of your finances, having your bank make automatic payments for you, closing online betting accounts, and only keeping a small amount of cash on you.

Also, be realistic about the odds of winning. Gambling is not a way to make money; it is about entertainment and you should expect to lose. It is also important to be aware of the factors that may influence your likelihood of losing, such as irrational beliefs about probability and risk (e.g., thinking that you are more likely to win if you play more often) and cognitive and motivational biases (e.g., overconfidence, the gambler’s fallacy).