10 Warning Signs That Your Gambling Has Become a Problem

Gambling is putting something of value (usually money) at risk in exchange for the chance to win a prize that could be more valuable. It includes a wide variety of activities such as lotteries, games of chance, sports betting, casino games, scratch tickets, dice, and horse races. In order to be considered gambling, a person must have the intention of winning and must be willing to lose.

While many people gamble without any problems, a significant subset develops pathological gambling disorder. This disorder is characterized by the recurrent and pervasive occurrence of compulsive gambling behaviors that result in distress or impairment. Pathological gambling is most common among people in their 20s, although people of all ages may develop the condition. Up to 5% of adolescents and young adults who gamble develop the disorder. It is more prevalent among men than women, and it tends to affect people with lower incomes.

It is important to be able to recognise when your gambling has become a problem and to be able to talk about it. You can also seek help and advice from a range of services that provide support, assistance and counselling to people who have gambling problems.

Some people think that only real-world gambling is considered to be a form of gambling, but even some video game gambling is illegal in some countries. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists 10 warning signs that indicate when you are in danger of developing a gambling problem.

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