Gambling is the placing of something of value, usually money, at risk on an event that involves some element of chance. It can involve lotteries, card games, casinos, races, sports events, the pokies (Australian slot machines), bingo and instant scratch-off tickets. It can also involve betting with materials that have a value, such as marbles, Magic: The Gathering cards or collectable game pieces in fantasy or wargames.
Like any other addiction, compulsive gambling is difficult to overcome. It can cause significant financial problems, strained relationships, and even homelessness. It can also lead to depression, substance abuse and suicide. While some people may be able to gamble responsibly, others find themselves addicted and can become trapped in the cycle of losing and borrowing more and more money.
A key reason why someone might become addicted to gambling is that it creates a large surge of dopamine in the brain, which can lead to an uncontrollable urge to continue playing to experience this high again. Over time, this can cause the brain to become desensitised to the pleasure of gambling and it becomes more and more necessary to gamble in order to feel happy.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, get in touch to find out about our counselling and therapy services. We can match you with a qualified, vetted therapist who is experienced in treating gambling addiction and can help you to overcome it.