While the positive effects of gambling have been well documented, fewer studies have considered how the economic costs and benefits of the practice affect the lives of individual gamblers. While there are no specific definitions for social costs and benefits, a common method used to assess the impact of gambling is the concept of health-related quality of life (HRQL), which measures the burden of the current health state on the individual’s quality of life. These methods have been successfully used to assess the social costs of gambling, including the social and psychological consequences of the habit.
Treatment options for problem gambling vary, and may include therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Sometimes, gambling may be a symptom of another illness, such as bipolar disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, focuses on changing unhealthy gambling behaviors and thoughts. Through this type of therapy, the individual learns how to cope with negative emotions related to gambling. A gambling disorder can have devastating effects on a person’s health, work, and relationships, as well as their finances.
Taking a gamble is an essential part of gambling, and the odds are against you in both forms. You should budget your gambling costs as an expense and not view it as a way to make money. Chance-based gambling, such as playing bingo, offers an equal chance of winning. Unless you are lucky enough to win, it’s impossible to be sure that you will win, so you should only bet with money that you can afford to lose.
Knowing the odds of winning will help you keep gambling in perspective. Odds vary from one game to another, but they generally do not work in your favor in the long run. To help you understand the odds of winning the lottery or gambling game, here’s a chart:
The best way to fight a gambling addiction is to build a support system and make a firm commitment to stop. Reach out to family and friends for support. Enroll in classes on gambling or volunteer for a worthwhile cause. Join a peer support group to discuss your addiction with like-minded individuals. Another excellent resource is the Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step recovery program based on Alcoholics Anonymous. This program requires you to choose a sponsor, a former gambler who can provide guidance and support.
Illegal gambling takes many forms, but the most popular are card games and craps. Some are ‘instant casinos’ that look like a beautiful betting parlor but are dismantled in a matter of days. Others are home-based card games operated by individuals and groups. Illegal gambling is a nationwide problem. The financial and social costs of gambling are huge. Therefore, it is important to understand the costs and benefits of gambling and to avoid becoming involved in this industry.
Adolescents who gamble regularly and have a history of serious problems may also be susceptible to the adolescent gambling syndrome. Children who show signs of gambling addiction should seek advice from a GP, psychologist, or local problem gambling service. The Internet offers an array of resources for parents and children struggling with gambling problems. Further, if a gambling problem has been recognized, it can be easily remedied. If the gambling behavior began in childhood, it is likely to persist into adulthood.