Gambling is an activity where people risk money or something of value to predict the outcome of a game involving chance. This could be on a scratchcard or fruit machine, or by betting with friends.
Gambling can be a fun and social way to spend your spare time. But it can also be a serious problem, which can have a negative impact on your life.
The best way to stay safe from gambling is to avoid it altogether. If you or someone you know is addicted to gambling, seek help immediately.
Using money to gamble is a serious problem and can be dangerous, as it can lead to debt problems. You should always set clear limits on how much you can spend and avoid gambling if you are in financial trouble.
If you think you have a gambling problem, there are many resources available to help. These include StepChange, which provides free, confidential debt advice and support.
A mental health disorder can often increase your risk of becoming addicted to gambling. It’s important to see a doctor or psychiatrist for treatment if you are struggling with any mental health conditions, including depression.
Gambling can also be a distraction from other problems, and can have a negative impact on your relationships and social life. For example, you may gamble to distract yourself from anger or a financial crisis.
Gambling has a variety of health benefits, but it is not an activity you should engage in if you are suffering from a mental health condition. If you do have a mental health issue, speak to your GP or a StepChange advisor about how we can help.