What is Gambling?
Gambling involves wagering something of value on a random event, such as an outcome of a game of chance, with the intent to win additional money or material goods. It is important to distinguish gambling from investments, which involve skill and knowledge. For example, paying a premium for life insurance is a type of investment because it shifts risk from one party to another in return for a long term positive expected return. Insurance premiums are set using actuarial calculations, much like stock market odds are calculated.
Gambling is a socially acceptable activity and many people do it for fun, but it can lead to problems if not controlled. Those with problem gambling often seek treatment. Some people can overcome their issues on their own, but most will need help from a trained professional.
Therapy can help you understand your reasons for gambling and learn healthier ways to relieve unpleasant feelings. You can also find out how to rebuild your relationships and finances. There are a variety of therapies available, including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy and family therapy.
The first step to solving a gambling addiction is admitting you have a problem. This can be hard, especially if it has cost you your money and strained or broken your relationships. But you are not alone – millions of people struggle with gambling and get help to break the habit. There are many resources and services to support you, including free debt advice from StepChange.