Gambling involves risking something of value on an event or game that relies on chance, such as a casino game, sports betting, or lottery games. Whether it’s for fun or for money, it can be addictive and lead to serious problems. Read more about gambling, and learn how to help a loved one who is struggling.

The first step is admitting that you have a problem. This can be difficult, especially if you have lost a lot of money and suffered strained or broken relationships as a result of your addiction. But it’s important to realise that you’re not alone and that you can seek treatment to break the habit.

In addition to seeking help from a therapist, you may want to consider other strategies to deal with your gambling addiction, such as family therapy or marriage and career counselling. These will help you address the specific issues that caused or made worse your addiction, and lay a foundation for repairing your life.

It’s also important to set financial boundaries. Make a budget for how much disposable income you’re willing to spend on gambling each month and stick to it. Never gamble with money that you need to save or pay bills, and don’t borrow to gamble. Also, it’s helpful to find other activities that can fill in the gaps left by gambling – such as exercise, socialising with friends who don’t gamble, and practicing relaxation techniques.

There are many resources available to help people overcome gambling addiction, including support groups and inpatient/residential treatment programs. In general, the best way to overcome a gambling problem is to get professional help as soon as possible.

Whether you’re in Las Vegas or your local casino, it’s easy to get carried away by the twinkly lights and excitement of gambling. But it’s important to remember that gambling is not as exhilarating as it looks in the movies – the odds aren’t always in your favor, and you’re likely to lose more often than you win.

Gambling can be a fun and harmless form of entertainment for some people, but for others it can become a serious problem that leads to financial and personal problems. Learn more about how gambling affects the brain, how to recognise a problem, and where to get help. You can also watch real-life stories of people who have successfully overcome their gambling addictions. If you think you or someone you know has a gambling problem, talk to your doctor or see the BetterHelp therapists who specialise in this area. If you’re unsure where to start, take our free assessment and we’ll match you with a therapist who can help. It only takes a few minutes, and is completely confidential. You can also call the Gamblers Anonymous hotline at 1-800-667-HELP.