Gambling is a game of chance in which you place a wager on an outcome of a random event, usually for a prize. Although gambling is considered a type of risky behavior, it can be enjoyable in moderation. However, gambling can also lead to a problem if you start losing money or your gambling habits become harmful.

There are many different types of gambling, including sports betting and online casinos. If you are concerned that you might have a problem, speak to a qualified gambling counsellor. They can provide you with advice and support to help stop the behaviour and prevent future problems.

Identify your gambling triggers

Triggers are things that make you want to gamble more than usual. These could be physical, social or emotional factors. For example, being in a bad mood or feeling angry can make you more likely to be tempted to gamble. Other triggers include having a financial crisis or having a family emergency that forces you to lose your savings.

Identifying your gambling triggers is important because they can help you change your behaviour so that you don’t continue to gamble. You can start by writing down what triggers you and how much you spend each time. Then, look at what other activities you enjoy that can reduce the risk of triggering your gambling urges.

If you have a family member or partner with a gambling addiction, there are things that you can do to support them. These include educating yourself about the problem, talking to them openly, and letting them know that you are there for them.

You can also take over their finances and set up limits so they are accountable for their spending. You can help them find a recovery program that suits them.

Talking to your loved one about their gambling is essential to helping them to change their behaviour. You can do this by being honest and supportive, ensuring you talk about the problem when they are calm and not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. You can also talk to a gambling counsellor who will be able to advise you on what resources are available in your area.

Refrain from gambling with money you can’t afford to lose and keep a log of your losses. This can help you to identify when you are losing too much money and make an informed decision about whether or not it is a good idea to continue gambling.

Avoid the temptation of taking a loan or borrowing money from friends and family to finance your gambling habit. This will help to protect your finances and credit rating.

Volunteer to improve your wellbeing

The benefits of volunteering are well documented and can make you happier. You can help people in need by providing food, clothes or medical treatment, and you will have a sense of purpose in your life. The activity can help you to de-stress and release negative thoughts that can trigger your gambling urges.