How to Prevent Gambling Addiction


Gambling is an activity where a person risks money or something of value on an event with some element of chance. It can involve any form of betting, including sports events like football accumulators or horse races, lottery tickets, scratch-offs, video poker, and even casino games like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. It can also be a social event, such as card games or dice games in a private setting. People often engage in gambling as a form of entertainment or to make money, but some people become addicted to the feeling of excitement and euphoria that it produces.

The most important factor in preventing gambling addiction is recognising that you have a problem. This can be a difficult step, especially if you have lost money or strained relationships because of your gambling. However, there is help available, and many people have successfully overcome gambling addiction and rebuilt their lives.

Some factors that contribute to gambling addiction include:

The first thing you need to do is stop gambling. The best way to do this is to cut off your access to gambling by getting rid of credit cards, putting someone else in charge of your finances, and closing any online gambling accounts. Then, you need to set a time limit for yourself and stick to it. It’s important not to gamble more than you can afford to lose, so make a budget before you go into the casino and only use cash.

It’s also essential to avoid gambling when you’re depressed or upset. These emotions can make you more likely to bet more money and to start chasing your losses. It’s also important to balance your gambling with other activities, and not allow it to take the place of family and friends or work.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. There are plenty of options for treatment, from support groups to inpatient and residential rehab programs. Many of these programs focus on cognitive behavioural therapy, which can help you change your beliefs and attitudes about gambling. For example, if you believe that certain rituals will bring you luck or that you can win back your losses by gambling more, CBT can teach you new coping strategies.

Another option is to join a support group for gambling addicts. These groups are great for sharing your struggles and finding encouragement from others who have successfully overcome gambling addictions. They can also be a good source of information about different treatments and programs, and can help you find a therapist. If you can’t afford to join a support group, there are a number of self-help sections on the NHS website that you can work through in your own time. These are designed to be completed one section at a time, and will gradually build up your skills to help you cut down on gambling. They cover topics from understanding your problems to changing your thinking and behaviour. You can also get personalised face-to-face support from the Samaritans by calling their free confidential helpline on 08457 90 90 90, or visiting one of their local branches.