Gambling Disorders

Gambling involves wagering something of value on an activity or event with a random, uncertain outcome. This includes activities such as poker, bingo and slot machines; sports betting (e.g. football accumulators and horse races); and lottery tickets, instant scratch cards and raffles. It does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law, such as securities and commodities trading or contracts of indemnity and guaranty or life, health or accident insurance.

People with gambling problems come from every race, age group and socioeconomic class. They may live in small towns or in big cities, and they can be male or female. They may have many reasons for becoming involved in gambling, including a desire to be surrounded by people and different sounds, the dream of winning big and an escape from everyday problems or stress.

Many people with gambling disorders are unable to control their urges, even when they try to stop gambling. This is because they have not learned how to change their thinking and behavior. One way to change this is with cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches people how to resist unwanted thoughts and behaviors. It also helps individuals confront irrational beliefs, such as the belief that a string of losses means they are due for a win.

Another way to prevent problems is to never gamble with cash and only use a small amount of money at a time. It is also important to tip your dealers and cocktail waitresses.

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