How Gambling Can Affect Your Relationships and Finances
While gambling is usually considered to be a novelty and an occasional form of social activity, it can quickly become more than that. Instead of being seen as an activity for leisure and entertainment, it can become an obsession and can cause stress and financial problems. To overcome gambling problems, first understand why you do it, and what the consequences are. Gambling support groups are available that can help you overcome your gambling problems, some even offer counselling. If your gambling is affecting your relationships, there is help available.
Problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder
People who have a problem with gambling may be prone to losing control of their finances and relationships. In fact, the World Health Organization has even classified excessive gambling as a disease. At the 72nd World Health Assembly on Saturday, May 25, 2019, the body added “excessive gaming” to its list of diseases. The organization is urging governments to improve policies and education for problem gamblers so that they can be treated effectively.
It is a social activity
A recent study by the Entain research institute found that 55% of participants regarded gaming as a social activity, and that one-quarter formed good friendships during gaming sessions. Another study by the same research institute found that most gamblers prefer to spend money on other recreational activities than on gambling, and that they spend twice as much on pubs and restaurants than on gambling. Although the research findings contradict each other, gamblers who gamble responsibly and safely may find that it is a social activity after all.
It is a risky activity
People often gamble for a variety of reasons. Some people enjoy the thrill of winning big money or material goods. While gambling is legal, it carries a high level of risk. Many gamblers lie about their losses and continue to gamble, even after they lose money. Those who gamble regularly may not realize the risks they are taking and are relying on others to fund their gambling habit. Whatever the reason for your gambling habit, you must realize that gambling is not for the faint of heart.
It can lead to financial difficulties
Increasing debts caused by gambling can create a host of problems. Often, problem gamblers will have a history of substance abuse and a comorbid addiction to daily cigarettes, alcohol, or both. While these behaviors are a coping mechanism, they can contribute to the financial problems as a whole. In some cases, problem gambling may even lead to homelessness. Depending on the severity of the problem, debt restructuring may be necessary or beneficial.
It can lead to criminal acts
There are five ways in which gambling can lead to criminal acts. These crimes are either unintentional or illegal offerings of gambling to the general public. Criminals may also infiltrate legitimate gambling activities. Some types of crime, such as theft, involve gambling as an integral part of a criminal lifestyle. Some individuals are predisposed to criminal behavior, such as addiction, and may become criminogenic through excessive gambling. To learn more about the risks of gambling-related crime, read on.