Gambling – Is it a Problem?


Often mistaken as a harmless, socially acceptable pastime, gambling is a serious problem that can lead to financial loss and harm to family members. There are several types of gambling and it is important to understand the risks before you start playing.

Understanding Gambling

Whether it is buying a Lotto ticket, placing a bet on a horse race or using the pokies, gambling can be a fun activity and even a way to earn some extra money. However, it can also be a highly addictive habit and if it starts to take over your life it needs to stop.

It is a risky game and there is always the possibility of losing money. Most people gamble for fun and only occasionally, but if you think that it is starting to become a problem, seek help.

Why You Gamble

Traditionally, gambling is a form of betting where you place a bet on an event based on the ‘odds’ set by the bookmaker, such as a football match or a scratchcard. If you win, you will be given the ‘odds’ multiplied by the amount of money you have staked, and if you lose, you will receive a smaller ‘odds’ multiplied in the same proportion as you lost.

A person who is a problem gambler may use a variety of strategies to try to win back the losses, such as changing their bets depending on how much they have won, doubling their bets each time they lose and using a betting system. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help people with gambling problems change the beliefs they have about betting and their behaviour when it comes to gambling.