Gambling is an activity where someone risks something of value – money, property or goods – to win something else of equal value. It involves an element of chance and includes activities like playing card games, scratchcards, fruit machines, betting on the horses or football accumulators, lottery and bingo, and speculating.
While some gambling can be harmless, problem gambling is a serious issue with negative consequences for the gambler and their family. Gambling can also cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. If you’re concerned about your own or someone else’s gambling habits and feel it’s having a negative impact on your life, speak to our counsellors. They’re here to help, free and confidential.
Gambling addiction can be treated with psychotherapy and support groups such as Gamlers Anonymous, a 12-step recovery program based on Alcoholics Anonymous. Medications are not currently FDA-approved for treating gambling disorders, but some may be helpful for treating co-occurring mood problems. Other treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people learn to resist urges and change their thoughts and behaviors. Support from friends and family can be critical to a person’s success, but only the gambler can decide to stop gambling.