Gambling is a risky activity in which people wager something of value (money, property, etc.) on an event with uncertain outcomes, usually involving skill or chance. The goal is to win a prize, which can be anything from a small amount of money to a life-changing jackpot. The term gambling often refers to casino games, but it can also include betting on horse racing, football matches, basketball games, boxing, or other events.
A person with a gambling problem may feel like they have to gamble in order to get by, or because they don’t have any other hobbies or interests. They might lie to their family about how much they’re spending or hide evidence of gambling. They might also become argumentative when family members express concerns about their behaviour. Eventually, they might start to lose touch with friends, and work can suffer as a result.
If you are a problem gambler, there are steps you can take to change your habits. Firstly, make sure you pay all your essential bills as soon as you’re paid – rent/mortgage, utilities, council tax, food, childcare, and so on. Secondly, set limits for how much you are willing to spend and stick to them. Lastly, consider closing your online betting accounts and only using cash when you go out.
If you’re finding it difficult to control your gambling, talk to someone. A counsellor can help you overcome your addiction and create a plan for recovery. They can also give you advice on how to restructure your finances. For example, they might suggest putting some of your money in a bank or building society account that’s owned by someone else (known as a third-party mandate).