Problem Gambling

Gambling involves risking something of value on a random event with the aim of winning something else of value. It can include playing games of chance, such as lottery tickets, scratchcards, fruit machines or betting with friends. It can also include activities that involve skill, such as poker or sports gambling. The risk of becoming addicted to gambling varies from person to person, but any form of gambling can lead to problems if it becomes habitual.

Research from a social practice perspective could help develop greater understanding of the complexity of gambling. It could explore how the nexus of practices shapes gambling, for example how power hierarchies within friendship groups may shape expectations on how to gamble and how to spend winnings. Longitudinal research that considers how the practice of gambling is influenced over time by a range of factors, including political economy through neoliberal ideology, globalisation and marketisation could also be explored.

If you have a problem with gambling, counseling can help you understand the issue and think about options. If you live with someone who has a gambling problem, it is important to set boundaries about money. Keeping only a small amount of cash on you and not using credit cards, or making sure other people are in charge of managing your finances, can help. It is also important to have other things to do with your time, like spending time with family or friends who don’t gamble, exercising and practicing relaxation techniques.