Gambling Addiction

A person places something of value at risk (typically money) on an event that has an element of chance with the intent to win something else of value. Events include: lottery tickets, cards, bingo, instant scratch-off tickets, slot machines, video poker, roulette, racing, animal tracks, sports, dice, and other games of chance.

Gambling may satisfy a variety of needs, such as the need for escapism and thrill-seeking behaviour. It also appeals to a basic human desire for status and specialness, and casinos often cater to this need through elaborate marketing and reward programs. In addition, gambling can become a coping mechanism for people experiencing stress or boredom. However, other healthy ways of relieving unpleasant feelings and meeting these basic needs exist, such as exercise, spending time with friends who do not gamble, and relaxation techniques.

Problem gamblers are often unable to control their impulses and manage their money. They may spend money that should be used to meet basic family needs or to advance a worthy cause. They may also find it difficult to stop gambling even after losing substantial amounts of money, which leads to a vicious cycle of continued losses. Moreover, a gambling addiction can interfere with good stewardship practices, which is contrary to the biblical command to “not steal” and the principles of self-control (Romans 13:7).

The best way to prevent a gambling problem is to avoid it completely. Make sure that you only gamble with money that can be withdrawn from your bank account when it is needed, and never use your savings or income that needs to be saved for bills or rent.