What is Gambling?
Gambling involves risking something of value (money, property, etc) on an event involving some degree of chance. It can be done in a wide range of ways and is practiced by people all over the world. People may gamble in casinos, on sporting events, by betting with friends, or by using pokie machines (slot machines). The most common way to bet is by choosing a winner – this could be a football team or a horse, for example. This choice is then matched to a number (or set of numbers) – the ‘odds’ which determine how much money can be won if that particular outcome occurs.
There are a number of different factors that can contribute to gambling problems, including an inability to control urges, a lack of self-control, and the presence of family or other influences who may be promoting the behaviour. In addition, some people experience an addiction to gambling that leads to a variety of harms such as financial difficulties and social isolation.
A number of organisations are concerned about the increasing prevalence of problem gambling and have worked to develop a range of policies and initiatives. These include the development of a new Australian National Gambling Strategy, the establishment of an advisory council on gambling, and the funding of community groups to promote responsible gambling.
The first step in overcoming a gambling problem is admitting that there is one. It can be difficult, particularly when it has caused damage to relationships and finances, but is essential if you are to get help. This is often followed by a period of recovery, during which you work to repair and rebuild your life without the need for gambling.
During this time it is important to be aware of the signs that you are beginning to have a problem, and to recognise what is driving your need to gamble. This includes identifying the negative feelings that are being triggered by gambling (such as boredom, anxiety, depression), making a decision to change your behaviour, and seeking help if you need it.
Many people find it hard to recognise when their gambling is becoming a problem, and may deny that they have a problem or try to hide their gambling activity. This can lead to them lying to therapists and other professionals about their level of involvement with gambling, as well as stealing money from family members or other sources in order to fund their gambling.
Longitudinal research has the potential to provide more detailed information on the onset, maintenance, and extinguishment of both normative and pathological gambling. However, there are a number of practical and logistical barriers that need to be overcome, including the large funding required for multiyear studies and the challenges of maintaining research team continuity and sample attrition. Nevertheless, longitudinal data are increasingly available and are a valuable tool for examining the determinants of gambling.
Gambling involves risking something of value (money, property, etc) on an event involving some degree of chance. It can be done in a wide range of ways and is practiced by people all over the world. People may gamble in casinos, on sporting events, by betting with friends, or by using pokie machines (slot machines).…