Problem Gambling

Gambling is a social activity that is conducted in a variety of settings and contexts. It involves wagering money or other materials and is often associated with social constructs like mateship, winning and success, rituals, thrill and adventure, and hedonism. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that is heavily marketed through television advertising, sponsorship and branding. These marketing strategies rely on socio-cultural constructs to appeal to specific groups of people such as young men and women who are perceived to be socially desirable and ‘reward-seeking’.

Problem gambling may cause a wide range of harms including physical, emotional and financial problems. It can also lead to relationships problems, family tensions and poor work and study performance. In addition, it can contribute to substance use disorders and other mental health issues such as depression.

To reduce the risk of harmful gambling, it is important to identify triggers and develop a strategy for dealing with them. This could include setting a limit on how much money you will play with and keeping this amount in a separate envelope. Alternatively, try allocating a set amount for each day and only spend that. Also, avoid casinos which are often free of clocks and windows because they can make it easy to lose track of time.

If you are concerned about someone in your life who is exhibiting problematic gambling behaviour, there are a number of online tests available to help you decide whether they should undergo a formal evaluation by a clinical professional. It is also important to build a strong support network and seek peer to peer advice, such as from Gamblers Anonymous or similar organizations.