Gambling is a term that can be used to describe any activity where people risk something of value on an event that is determined, at least in part, by chance. This can include playing a game of chance, like scratchcards or fruit machines, betting on football matches, or buying lottery tickets.
A person who gambles may also be a problem gambler, a condition that can have long-term negative effects on their health and well-being. This type of gambling can have an impact on their relationships, careers, finances and other areas of their life.
Some of the most common forms of gambling are lotteries, poker, sports betting and online gaming. The amount of money wagered on these activities each year worldwide amounts to tens of trillions of dollars.
Getting to know the facts about gambling can help you make informed decisions about your own behaviour and that of a loved one. It can also help you understand why gambling is a problem for others and how to avoid it.
Understanding the terminology and how gambling works can help you understand what’s going on with the games that you play and why they are so addictive. It can also help you think about safer ways to play and how to talk to someone if you’re worried about their gambling.
Explaining gambling to children and young people
Gambling can be fun, but it can also be addictive. It’s important to discuss gambling with children and young people to help them understand what it is, how it works, the risks, and what to do if they are worried about their own gambling or that of a loved one.
If a child or young person is struggling with their gambling, it can be helpful to talk through the issue with a qualified professional. Counselling can be a valuable way to address these issues and find a way forward for both the child and their family.
Behavorial therapy can be a useful way to change the behaviour of someone who is struggling with their gambling and to help them learn new coping strategies. It can also help people who are experiencing harm as a result of their gambling to understand why they are doing this and how it has affected them.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can also be useful in helping a person change their thinking about gambling, and how it makes them feel. This can include changes to their beliefs about how they think about luck and the likelihood of winning, and their thoughts about whether they can win back any losses.
It can also help people to find a better way to deal with their negative emotions, such as anger or stress. It can help them to learn ways to relieve these feelings in a healthier way, such as exercising or socialising with friends who don’t gamble.
Compulsive gambling is more common in younger and middle-aged adults than in older people, but it can affect both genders. It can also be more likely to occur in families where there is a history of problem gambling.