Gambling is the act of betting or staking of something of value on a chance or random event with the intent of winning something of greater value. In order for this to occur, the bettor must consider both the risk and the potential gain of making the bet.
If you are gambling more than you can afford to lose, it may be time for a change in your behavior. Set a budget and stick to it when you are playing casino games, slot machines, or poker.
Avoid triggers that are known to stoke the urge to gamble. For example, if you see a casino when driving home after work or are watching sports and start to feel the temptation, turn around or take an alternative route.
Talk to someone you trust about your gambling problems. Whether it is a family member, friend or a professional counselor, admitting your problem to someone else will help you address it and make it easier to stop.
Keep your thoughts of gambling in check by learning to relieve unpleasant emotions and boredom in healthier ways. Exercising, socializing with friends who don’t gamble, taking up a new hobby or practicing relaxation techniques are all effective strategies for self-soothing unpleasant feelings.
Ensure you have time and money for what is important to you in your life. Getting out of the house and having a fulfilling, rewarding activity can go a long way in helping you feel better about yourself, your situation, and your life.
If you are struggling with a gambling addiction, get professional help as soon as possible to make sure you are able to recover properly. There are many different treatment centers and clinics that can help you cope with your addiction, and a professional will be able to speak to the specific issues that are causing you to feel the need to gamble.
The Behavioral Economics model of the impacts of gambling has three classes of benefits and costs: financial, labor and health, and well-being. These classes can be observed on personal, interpersonal, and societal levels (see Figures 2 and 3).
Individual level benefits are usually nonmonetary in nature, including changes in the gambler’s lifestyle, such as increased spending, impulsive purchases, alcohol consumption, and decreased work productivity. Other impacts include social harms such as changes in the gambler’s relationship with his or her significant other or family members, and loss of control.
Societal level costs are mostly monetary, although some of these impacts are invisible and can be difficult to assess. They include general costs of gambling, costs related to problem gambling and long-term cost/benefits.
It is vital to recognize that gambling affects all aspects of the lives of people who engage in it, and these effects are often unrecognized and ignored by policymakers. Therefore, it is essential to address the social impacts of gambling in a comprehensive manner, and to consider broader consequences of gambling on public services, the economy, and the society as a whole.