How Gambling Can Lead to Addiction


Gambling is risking something of value on an event whose outcome is determined at least in part by chance. It can be done in a wide variety of ways, including betting on sports events or horse races, buying lottery and scratch cards, playing bingo, and even placing bets with friends. It can lead to addiction if done compulsively.

The experience of altered emotional states can precede the onset of gambling problems, and may continue to trigger them even after problem gambling has been eliminated from one’s life. People often use gambling to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as boredom or depression, but there are healthier and more effective ways to do so.

It is impossible to gamble without money, so it is important to set a budget for yourself before you start and stick to it. This will ensure that you never spend more than you can afford to lose, and will help you stay in control. You should also consider getting rid of credit cards and putting someone else in charge of your money, limiting the number of online betting accounts you have, and keeping only a small amount of cash on you.

Many people struggle with gambling, and it is important to know that you are not alone. If you or a loved one is struggling with a gambling addiction, seek out support. There are many programs available for those with gambling problems, including inpatient and residential treatment and rehab programs.