Gambling is a social activity where people place a bet on something, usually for money. It can include gaming, betting on horse or greyhound races, lottery or football accumulators, and speculation on business, insurance or stock markets.

Traditionally, gambling has been seen as a deviant behaviour and illegal in many countries. However, it has become more common in recent years thanks to the introduction of new technology and a growing global population.

Online gambling is a form of gambling that involves placing bets on websites using your computer, smartphone or tablet. It is very popular in the UK and can be found worldwide, but it is important to choose a reputable website.

If you’re thinking about gambling, you should talk to a professional, such as a doctor or counsellor, about the effects on your mental health and finances. They can help you understand the problem and give you options to stop gambling.

Family and friends can also offer support. They can help set boundaries with the gambler and monitor the gambling to ensure it doesn’t affect them in any way. They can also help the gambler manage their finances and set them up for success if they want to recover from gambling addiction.

You can also ask your doctor or counsellor to refer you to a specialist for help with the issue. There are several kinds of treatment available, from short-term counselling to long-term therapy.

There are also resources online and in the community that can help you to address your gambling problems. These resources are free and confidential.

Relationship harms

There was a strong link between relationship harms and gambling. These included harms to a person’s ability to spend time with their partner, spouse, child or other family member. The data showed that harms related to the reduction of time spent together ranged from episodic to pervasive with the impact varying based on the individual characteristics of both the person who gambled and the affected other.

Harms caused by the loss of trust within the relationship were a particularly strong sub-theme in this dimension. Those who had been engaged in problematic levels of gambling identified the lack of trust in their relationships as one of the main sources of disruption.

Affected people would report feeling withdrawn and disconnected from their partners or spouses because of their gambling. They would often describe their gambling as an unwelcome distraction from the relationship or as a means of coping with their own feelings of sadness, frustration, or anger.

Some gamblers are able to overcome their gambling by changing the way they think about it. Some of them even get counseling to help them deal with their thoughts.

They may need to reduce the amount of money they spend on gambling or find other activities to enjoy. They may also need to find a sponsor, someone who has experienced a similar situation and can provide them with valuable guidance and support.

In some instances, people can lose their savings and financial resources to their gambling addiction. This can lead to financial problems such as debt or poverty. It can also cause them to miss out on other things that they want to do, including work or study. This can create an ongoing, compounding effect that can impact on their lifelong well-being and lead to negative consequences such as joblessness or homelessness.