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What is Gambling and How Can it Affect Your Life?

Gambling is any activity in which you stake something of value (like money or an item of clothing) on a chance of winning. It ranges from scratchcards and fruit machines, to betting on a race or sporting event with friends, to casino gambling. It can be done legally or illegally, for profit or simply for pleasure.

The good news is that there are some benefits to gambling, like socializing and mental development, but it can be dangerous when it’s a habit and starts to cause problems in your life. Problem gambling is the term used to describe compulsive gambling that causes your life to become unmanageable, affecting your relationships, finances and work. It’s important to recognise the warning signs and seek help if you think you have a problem.

There are no medications that can treat gambling disorder, but psychotherapy (also called talk therapy) can be effective in helping people overcome it. The type of therapy you choose will depend on your needs, but some options include: