Gambling Addiction


Gambling involves risking something of value (like money or time) on an uncertain event with the potential to win a prize. It is typically done in a gambling establishment such as a casino, but it can also occur at other places including gas stations, church halls and sporting events, as well as online. It occurs when people make a decision to gamble, take action and hope for the best.

Whether it’s a desire to get ahead or to feel the excitement of winning, there are many reasons why people find themselves in the grip of gambling addiction. Gambling is a form of escapism and, as a result, it’s often used to mask or cope with stressors like financial problems, loneliness, boredom, depression or grief. In addition, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure, when gambling, so it’s easy to see why some people keep doing it.

While understanding the causes of gambling addiction is a complex issue, there are several steps that you can take to help someone with a problem. Taking control of their finances and credit is an important first step, along with setting clear boundaries about how much they can spend. You may also consider family therapy and other professional services, such as career, marriage or credit counseling, to tackle the specific issues caused by their gambling habits and lay a foundation for recovery.

Methodological challenges in assessing gambling impacts include the difficulty of measuring non-monetary aspects of impact, especially at the interpersonal and community/society levels. This can be largely due to the fact that these impacts tend to be indirect in nature, and as a result, they are difficult to quantify.