Gambling is the act of placing something of value, such as money or a prize, on an event that has a random outcome. It is not only a form of entertainment, but it can also be a way to relieve stress and anxiety. It is a popular pastime for many people, with research suggesting that over half of the world’s population has gambled at some point in their lives. However, it is important to recognise that gambling can become addictive and cause significant problems for those who are addicted.

Those who are addicted to gambling can experience severe emotional, psychological, and financial consequences. These can include:

Compulsive gambling is a complex problem that involves many factors, including genetic predisposition and an altered brain chemical response to reward. A person may be more sensitive to losses than to gains of equal value, which means that losing PS10 causes a more prominent emotional reaction than finding PS10. This can lead them into a vicious cycle, where they invest more and more money in order to ‘win back’ their previous losses, but often end up worse off than they were to begin with.

In addition, gambling can have negative social effects as it can disrupt personal and professional relationships. This is particularly true for a gambling addiction, where a person may be more likely to prioritise their gambling habit over their family and friends. Additionally, it can be hard to manage time and money when one is gambling as there can often be a high risk of impulsive spending.