Gambling can take different forms, but it has one thing in common. It occurs when someone has risked money (or something valuable) on an activity based on chance, luck or some sort of skill.
When most people think about gambling they might think of placing bets or playing in casinos, but there are lots of different ways to gamble. Here are some of the most common ones
- Gaming: card games, fruit machines, video-draw poker machines, slot machines, two-up and casino games such as baccarat and roulette.
- Betting: including horse and greyhound races, football accumulators, other sporting events and elections.
- Lotteries: including lotteries, instant scratch cards, raffles and bingo.
- Speculation: gambling on business, insurance or stock markets.
Technology makes it easier to gamble
Access to gambling sites has never been easier. There are now hundreds of gambling companies that provide casino-style games and betting apps that can be downloaded onto the gambler’s devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops. They provide the convenience of making bets or gambling from wherever the person is, even if they are on the move, 24/7 days a week.
Is your gambling causing problems?
There are different ways to think about this, and if you are reading this page, you might be wondering if gambling has started to become an issue for you. At its most simple – if you answer yes to either of the following questions, then you may want to think about changing your relationship with gambling.
- Do you ever lie to people close to you about gambling?
- Have you ever bet more than you could afford?
If you want to change your gambling:
It may be difficult changing your gambling pattern and it is natural that at first, you may feel upset or distressed.
The good news is that help and support are available. A free specialist NHS treatment service is available through the East of England Gambling Service, if you are registered with a GP in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Essex (west, mid, south, or north-east), Norfolk and Waveney, or Suffolk.
If you would like to discuss your options or you are not sure whether the Gambling Service is the best way forward for you, contact your GP or another trusted professional, or call us on 01908 724287 and we can help you find the right support.
You can find details for other forms of help and advice on gambling on the NHS website.
If you’re at risk due to gambling:
If you are worried about your gambling and want to cut down or stop your gambling altogether, then check out the self-help sections at the bottom of this page.
There are sections which you can work through in turn. They build on each other and can help you towards a more meaningful and fulfilling life that is free from gambling harms.