Whether it’s buying lotto tickets, playing scratch-offs, betting on the horses or using pokies, gambling is an activity that involves risking something of value in a game with some element of chance. It’s also an activity that can lead to financial problems, family stress and even mental health issues. It’s important to recognise and act if you think your gambling is becoming problematic.
Gambling can be fun and exciting, but it’s always important to know your limits. Set money and time limits in advance, and stick to them. Never chase your losses – thinking you are due for a big win and can recoup your losses is known as the gambler’s fallacy. This type of thinking can be dangerous and leads to more and more losses.
It’s important to realise that you may have a problem with gambling if it starts to interfere with your everyday life. You should seek help if you have lost money or your relationships are being impacted. There are a number of services that can provide support, including family therapy and marriage counselling, as well as credit and debt counseling.
It’s also important to reduce the risk factors that can make gambling more difficult, such as having access to credit cards and carrying large amounts of cash. Reduce your socialising at gambling venues and find new hobbies to fill the space that gambling can leave behind. Set goals and try to focus on other areas of your life that are more rewarding.