Gambling Harms and Consequences
Gambling is the act of placing a bet, playing a lottery or simply risking money on something that involves chance. It can be an enjoyable pastime or it can cause serious harm to your health, relationships and finances if you engage in it excessively.
The earliest evidence of gambling was found in China over 2,300 years ago and it has been practiced around the world ever since. There are many types of gambling, including card games, slot machines, sports betting and gambling on horses, football accumulators and lotteries.
Harm related to gambling is a complex issue that requires a robust, consistent definition. The lack of a definition has resulted in a fragmented approach to the assessment and management of gambling related harm across treatment providers, policy makers and researchers. It is important to establish a coherent interpretation of gambling related harm in order to reduce stigma, improve access to services and promote effective treatment.
Defining harm and consequences was a key part of the research process. During this process, it was determined that the definition of gambling related harm needed to capture the breadth and experience of harm, and to be operationalised in a way that could be measured consistent with standard epidemiological protocols used in public health. It also needed to be conceptualised in a way that was consistent with social models of health and the experiences of individuals who gambled, their affected others and the broader community.
The definition of harms was developed in consultation with people who gambled, their affected others and a broader community of experts in the field of gambling and harms. Throughout the process, a number of themes and concepts were identified that captured the complexity of the experience of harms.
In addition, a range of antecedents and triggers were identified as contributing to the development of harmful gambling behaviour. These included psychosocial disorders and conditions, coping styles, beliefs, social learning and the environment in which gambling occurred.
Problem gambling is a form of gambling that has adverse effects on a person’s health, relationships and financial status. It can also lead to criminal convictions, debt and homelessness.
Compulsive gambling is the most severe form of problem gambling. It can cause a great deal of distress and may lead to suicide. It is very difficult to break the addiction and can require professional help.
It’s important to get help for underlying mood disorders and other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, which can often be a precursor to gambling. It’s also important to find ways of dealing with any behavioural or financial issues that you have that are making it difficult for you to stop gambling.
When gambling is a problem, it’s important to seek out support from your family and friends. Talking about it with them can help you understand the reasons behind your behaviour and give you the courage to change it. It can also make you realize that many other people have similar problems.