Preventing Gambling Addiction

Whether it’s buying a lotto ticket, betting on the pokies, or placing a bet on a sporting event, gambling involves risking something valuable on an outcome that is at least partly determined by chance. The gambler hopes to win and gain something of value, but once a bet is placed, it can’t be taken back.

Many religions discourage gambling or consider it a sin. For example, the Lord Buddha stated that gambling is a source of destruction in the Singalovada Sutra. Other churches that prohibit gambling include the Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The key to preventing gambling addiction is managing money and setting time limits. When gambling, only play with money that you can afford to lose and stop when your time limit is reached, whether you are winning or losing. Also, make a personal rule not to gamble with your phone or rent money and avoid using credit to gamble. Lastly, never chase your losses; the more you try to win back your lost money, the more you will probably lose.

People gamble for a variety of reasons, from social to financial. For example, they may gamble because it makes them feel excited or happy, or they might think about what they would do if they won the lottery. Regardless of the reason, gambling can lead to harmful behaviours. A person who has a gambling disorder often lies to family members or therapists about their gambling, hiding evidence of it and making excuses for why they are spending so much time and money on it.