Gambling is the process of taking part in an activity that involves the risk of losing money, as well as a chance to win more. It can include betting on sporting events, playing lottery tickets or scratch cards, and gambling online.
The most common motives for gambling are a desire to alleviate stress, socialise and achieve a jackpot win. These motivations are connected to the brain’s reward system and can trigger feelings of euphoria.
If you find it hard to stop gambling, seek help from a friend or family member and get support from a counsellor. Some people also benefit from regular physical activity to help them cope with the urge to gamble.
How to start gambling safely
The first thing to know is that gambling is all about chance – the odds are set by the betting company and no one knows for certain what will happen. So it’s no good getting superstitious about the outcome.
The best way to start gambling safely is to set a fixed amount of money that you can afford to lose. If you’re losing more than this, it’s time to stop. Having a fixed limit means you can set boundaries for yourself and stick to them. You can also choose to play with a smaller stake, which is less expensive.