Dealing With Gambling Problems

Gambling involves betting something of value (such as money or property) on the outcome of a game of chance, such as slot machines, video poker or lottery. You can also gamble by placing bets on events such as horse races or football matches, either through commercial establishments or through organized sporting pools. In most jurisdictions, gambling is regulated by law and can be considered a crime if it leads to financial ruin.

Those who have problems with gambling often experience emotional distress, such as anxiety, depression or social isolation. Certain types of psychological therapy, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, may be helpful in addressing these issues, and in helping you to change your relationship with gambling. Financial counselling can also help you find alternatives to gambling as a way of obtaining income.

A therapist can teach you to recognise the signs that your gambling is out of control, and help you develop healthier ways of dealing with unpleasant emotions or boredom. For example, instead of gambling you can try exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or meditating. It’s important to remember that gambling is not a good way to relieve boredom or tension, because it will only lead to more problems in the long run. It is also important to set aside a separate bankroll for gambling and to never use money that you need to pay your bills or rent. This will prevent you from accidentally overspending, and will ensure that you are gambling with disposable income.