Gambling – Risks and Positive Aspects of Gambling


Gambling is a popular pastime that can also be a serious problem. Although many people can gamble responsibly, it is important to know the risks of gambling and how to recognize a gambling problem in order to seek help when needed. There are also positive aspects of gambling that can enhance communities and contribute to a sense of well-being.

Several factors may provoke problematic gambling. These include the genetic predisposition of some individuals to thrill-seeking behaviours and impulsivity, which are associated with differences in how brain regions process reward information, control impulses, and weigh risk. Moreover, cultural influences may affect the way people think about gambling and what constitutes a problem. For example, some cultures place a high value on gambling as a means of socializing or raising funds for charitable causes. This may make it difficult to identify a gambling problem when it arises.

The most common cause of problematic gambling is money issues. Often, compulsive gamblers spend more than they win and run up huge debts that can lead to bankruptcy or other financial problems. Consequently, it is essential to limit gambling to disposable income and never use money that is needed for other expenses, such as rent or bills. Additionally, it is helpful to set a fixed amount of money that you are prepared to lose before entering a casino and sticking to it.

Other risk factors for gambling-related problems include age, sex, and family and friends. Younger people are more likely to develop a problem than older adults. Compulsive gambling is more common in men than in women, and it is more prevalent among people with a close relationship to a problem gambler.

It is important for families and friends of a person with a gambling problem to support one another. This is particularly critical in managing money, as it is often easy for problem gamblers to rationalize their requests for “just this one last time”. In addition, families should establish boundaries in how they manage the problem gambler’s money and credit. It is also a good idea to seek support from mental health professionals when dealing with a loved one who has a gambling problem. For example, the CUCRC provides community, connection and support for students, faculty and staff who are in recovery or seeking recovery from a variety of behaviors, including gambling. In addition, CAPS provides in-person and virtual mental health support through workshops, individual counseling, drop-in sessions and more.