Gambling Addiction



Gambling is any game of chance or skill that involves risking something of value for the possibility of winning a prize. This can include casino games, sports events, lottery or scratchcards. Regardless of the type of gambling, people can be addicted to it. While some types of gambling are more addictive than others, all forms can result in problems if not used responsibly.

While many people gamble for financial reasons, others do so for other reasons, such as to alleviate stress, socialize with friends, or change their moods. The ability of certain gambling activities to change a person’s mood has been linked to the brain’s reward system. Many people are also attracted to the social status associated with gambling, especially in areas where it is heavily regulated and taxed (Per Binde, 2013).

The benefits and costs of gambling vary by individual and by form of gambling. Intangible costs and benefits are difficult to quantify in dollar terms, but some progress has been made toward making these effects more tangible. The intangible cost of gambling may include the harm caused by addiction and the loss of family, work, and other important aspects of life.

If you’re struggling with a gambling problem, counseling can help. Seek a support group for gamblers, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. You can also seek physical activity, spend time with friends who don’t gamble, or try relaxation techniques.