Gambling Disorders

Gambling involves risking something of value (money, property or other assets) in an attempt to predict the outcome of a game of chance. It can include playing card games like poker or blackjack with friends in a private setting, placing bets on sports events such as football, horse races or boxing within a social circle and betting on the outcome of a lottery. Gambling can also take place in brick-and-mortar and online casinos, where people play casino games such as roulette, slot machines or video poker.

While most people who gamble do so responsibly, there are some individuals whose gambling causes them problems. Problem gambling can have devastating consequences on health, relationships and work performance and can lead to debt and even homelessness. It may be hard for affected individuals to recognise that they have a problem and they can often hide their gambling activities or lie about them to others.

Symptoms of gambling disorder include a desire to gamble despite negative consequences, repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or stop gambling, and thoughts about gambling (including reliving past wins or planning future bets). Counseling can help people understand their gambling behaviors, consider options and solve problems. BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches people with licensed, accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, relationships and gambling. Start by taking our assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours. Alternatively, you can call our National Helpline.