Gambling happens when you stake something of value, such as money, on a game of chance or skill. It can include lottery tickets, sports betting and scratchcards. People who gamble may do so in a casino, racetrack or other gaming venue, in their homes on the Internet, or by phone. Typically, you win if you predict the outcome of a gambling event correctly and lose if you don’t.
The key to dealing with gambling is avoiding high-risk situations. That means staying away from casinos and online gaming sites, as well as avoiding the people, places and activities you associate with these activities. Identifying your gambling triggers is also important. These could be specific friends or family members who encourage your gambling, passing a TAB on the way to work or being reminded of past wins.
Developing new hobbies and interests is also a great way to combat the urge to gamble. Try exercising, joining a book club or taking an adult education class or volunteering in your community. You can also connect with others through a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous. Addressing any underlying mental health issues like stress and depression may be helpful as well. This can help you to change your maladaptive coping behaviors and replace them with healthier ones. It can also make it easier to stop gambling. Ultimately, though, life is more than just not gambling. Refrain from criticising or lecturing someone who is struggling with this issue and instead, focus on finding solutions together.