Gambling involves risking something of value (money, property, etc) in an attempt to win a prize based on chance. Usually, gambling involves taking risks with an objective of winning money and can be done in many different ways, including betting on sporting events or other activities, playing games of chance like poker and bingo, or by purchasing lottery tickets, scratch cards and slot machines.
While a wealth of research on gambling has focused on individual behaviour, addiction and cognitive impairment, there is a smaller but growing body of literature considering the wider socio-cultural and regulatory structures that shape and influence gambling practice. A social practice perspective offers a way of understanding how these influences work together and could be used to inform harm reduction strategies.
A social practice approach to gambling may include strategies such as regulating marketing and advertising, restricting the spaces in which gambling takes place, changing the language and rhetoric that surrounds it, and creating policies that encourage responsible consumption. It also involves promoting the development of a range of skills that support responsible behaviour, such as problem-solving, self-regulation, and the ability to recognise and avoid triggers for gambling.
It’s important to remember that gambling is a choice and you can control how much you gamble by limiting the time you spend and the amount of money you wager. Set a time limit and stick to it whether you’re winning or losing, don’t use credit or borrow to gamble, and avoid chasing losses. It’s also helpful to balance your gambling with other enjoyable activities and make sure you get enough rest and nutrition.