Gambling is a social activity where people place wagers on a chance to win money. It can be a fun way to spend time and is also a good way to make new friends. However, it can also be a problem. If you think someone in your family has a gambling problem, it’s important to know how to help them.
Prevention and education
The aim of prevention is to reduce the harms associated with gambling, including those caused by gambling addiction. It includes:
Making sure people understand the risks of gambling and how to manage them (up front) as a preventative measure, improving responsible product design and providing clear information for customers about the harms of gambling and how to use products responsibly, and ensuring treatment services provide clear guidance on how to stop gambling and offer effective tools to support withdrawal and help with self-exclusion.
Training and education for the health workforce will play a critical role in raising awareness of gambling harms and equipping healthcare professionals to identify those who may be suffering from stress or other mental health problems as a result of their gambling behaviour.
Educating children and young people on the effects of gambling is essential to prevent them from becoming problem gamblers later in life. It also helps them to recognise that their behaviour is not normal or acceptable and to seek support if they have any concerns about their gambling habits.
Research has shown that reducing exposure to gambling in early years can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. For example, the less children are exposed to poker machines, lottery, scratchy cards or sports bets, the less likely they are to see these as fun and develop a gambling habit.
Promoting alternative, healthier leisure activities can also have a positive effect on gambling and could encourage people to make more productive choices in their lives. For example, playing a sport can be an enjoyable and stimulating activity that helps to keep healthy, fit, and active.
It can also improve a person’s concentration, hand-eye coordination and intellectual abilities. It releases endorphins in the brain and reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol.
Despite the many benefits of gambling, it can still have harmful effects on the economy and society. This is particularly true for physical casinos. These facilities generate jobs in the area and create a boost to the local economy. In addition, online casinos can have a large impact on the economy as well.