Gambling involves placing a wager on an event with an uncertain outcome, such as the roll of a dice, a spin of a roulette wheel or a horse crossing the finish line. There are a variety of ways to gamble, including online games, lottery-like products and sports betting.
Gambling has both social and economic impacts. These impacts can occur at the personal, interpersonal, and community/societal levels. Economic impacts can include gambling revenues, tourism impacts, infrastructure changes, and changes in financial situations. Personal and interpersonal impacts can include the emotional, psychological, and social consequences of gambling. Community/societal impacts can include social gatherings, support groups and education opportunities.
If someone you know shows signs of unhealthy gambling, help them to set boundaries and put actions in place. You may want to suggest that they talk to a counsellor, agree on spending limits and look after their credit and EFTPOS cards so they can only use them for essentials. You might also want to encourage them to find other ways to occupy their mind and body, like starting a new hobby or exercise program.
Problem gambling can have a number of negative effects, including causing or exacerbating mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. If you think you have an underlying mental health issue, seek help for it at the same time as you address your unhealthy gambling habits. Also, make an effort to surround yourself with friends who don’t gamble and join a book club, gym or adult education class. You can also join an online forum where people in a similar situation share their stories and offer support.