How to Manage Your Gambling


Gambling is when you risk money or something else of value for a chance to win. It can be done in many different ways including playing lotteries, placing bets on sports events, buying scratch-off tickets and even video poker. Gambling can be fun, but it can also cause problems if people don’t take control of their gambling habits and set limits for themselves.

Problem gambling can have a negative impact on health, relationships and performance at work or school. It can also cause financial stress, debt and homelessness. Problem gambling affects people of all ages, races, religions, education levels and incomes. It can happen in small towns or big cities. People can become addicted to gambling for many reasons, such as the excitement of winning or the escape from everyday problems and stresses. Problem gamblers can experience a wide range of symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. They may withdraw from friends and family and spend more time gambling. They often use alcohol or drugs to mask their symptoms. They can become irritable and angry. They can even attempt suicide.

Research has shown that gambling causes a change in the brain’s chemical messages. In addition, some individuals are genetically predisposed to developing gambling problems. The DSM-5 classifies pathological gambling as a compulsion similar to substance addiction.

Generally, the more someone gambles, the more they lose. A person’s brain chemistry changes as they gamble more, and their ability to make good decisions is impaired. This is known as a “gambling spiral” because the individual continues to gamble more and more, despite increasing losses. In order to stop the spiral, a person must find new sources of satisfaction.

In order to be a successful gambler, you must understand the odds. The more you know about the odds, the better your chances of winning are. However, it is important to remember that luck plays a huge role in gambling. It is impossible to predict the outcome of a game with 100% accuracy. There are a number of factors that contribute to the odds of winning and losing, such as skill, knowledge of game strategies, experience and other personal characteristics.

The best way to manage your gambling is to create a budget for yourself and stick with it. Decide how much you can afford to lose, and leave when you reach your limit. Also, don’t use credit cards or borrow money to gamble. It’s also important to avoid gambling when you are upset, depressed or in pain.

If you feel like your gambling is getting out of control, there are resources on campus to help you get back in control. You can schedule a screening or attend a Let’s Talk session at CAPS to discuss your gambling. You can also access AcademicLiveCare, which is a free online platform that allows CU Boulder students, staff and faculty to schedule virtual counseling and psychiatry appointments. For more information about the service, click here.