How to Help a Loved One With a Gambling Problem

Gambling is an activity in which you stake something of value, such as money or items of personal value (like cars), on the chance of winning a prize. People gamble in a variety of places, including casinos, racetracks and online. Some people gamble for a living, but most do it for fun or to socialise with friends.

Some people gamble for a living by taking bets on sports, horse races and other events. These gamblers work as bookmakers, trainers and jockeys, among other things. In addition to providing jobs, gambling also generates revenue and taxes for governments.

Compulsive gamblers often lose large amounts of money, and as they try to recover their losses, they can go deeper into debt or even engage in illegal activities. This can harm their financial health, job and family relationships. It can also cause emotional distress, leading to depression and anxiety. The good news is, there are ways to help a loved one who has a gambling problem.

You can encourage a friend or family member to seek help for their gambling problems by helping them understand the risks and limiting their access to money and other resources. You can also help them find other ways to spend their time. While there are no FDA-approved medications for gambling disorders, psychotherapy can be helpful. This type of therapy involves talking with a mental health professional to identify and change unhealthy emotions and thoughts. These can include feelings of anger, guilt and hopelessness.