How to Stop Gambling

Gambling is when you stake money or something else of value on an event that is based solely on chance and is not under your control or influence. It does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts, such as purchases or sales at a future date of securities and commodities, or contracts of insurance (except life, health, or accident).

People gamble for many reasons, from the thrill of winning to socialising with friends or as a way of forgetting their worries and stress. But for some, gambling can become out of control. If you’re worried about your or someone else’s gambling habits, there are steps you can take.

Talk to your doctor – They’ll be able to discuss how the behaviour affects your mental health and help you find a treatment option that works for you. They might recommend cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which targets the beliefs you have about betting. These could be that you’re more likely to win, that certain rituals bring luck or that you can easily get back any losses by gambling more.

Reduce risk factors – Avoid high-risk situations such as using credit cards, taking out loans or carrying large amounts of cash around with you. Also, try to stop gambling as a way of escaping emotions, and seek alternative recreational activities or hobbies. If you’re worried about the financial implications of gambling, speak to StepChange for free debt advice.

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