Gambling As a Distraction

For many people gambling is a recreational activity that provides excitement, fun and social interaction. For others it becomes an addiction that causes serious harm. The impacts can have a financial, family, work and health impact. It is important to understand the nature of the problem and seek professional help and advice if you are concerned about your or someone else’s gambling behaviour.

Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event with the intent of winning something else of value. It is not considered a game of skill as instances of strategy are discounted. For some individuals, gambling is a way to escape from underlying issues such as stress, anxiety, boredom, grief or problems at home or at work. For others the attraction is based on the visual, auditory and kinesthetic stimulation that gambling offers as well as a desire to become rich.

Using gambling as a distraction can lead to addiction and a number of other problems such as debt, depression, substance use disorder, behavioural disorders and mental health issues. A number of different studies have been conducted in an attempt to quantify the economic impacts of gambling. These are generally known as gross impact studies.

The most effective approach to controlling the urge to gamble is to identify your triggers and avoid them. This could mean staying away from casinos, stopping carrying cash or even deleting betting apps on your smartphone. It is also important to be around friends who do not gamble and to have a social network that supports you. Having a clear idea of the reasons you want to stop can be helpful too, such as spending more time with family or reducing your debts.