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Whether you put money on sports, scratch cards, horses, dogs, roulette, poker, or slots—in a proper casino or just on the internet—problem gambling can put pressure on relationships, get in the way of work, and lead to money problems. You may even do things you would not think that you would, like taking money to gamble or deal with your debts. You may think you can’t end it but, with the correct help, you can deal with a gambling problem or addiction and take control of your life. The initial step is recognizing and acknowledging the issue.
Gambling addiction, often known as compulsive gambling, is a kind of impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers can’t help the impulse to gamble, even when they are aware their gambling is hurting themselves or their dearest ones. Gambling is all they can think about and all they wish to do, no matter the results. Compulsive gamblers keep betting whether they’re up or down, bankrupt or flush, happy or down. Even when they know the odds are stacked against them, even when they can’t bear to lose, people with a gambling addiction can’t not gamble.
Gamblers can have a problem, however, without being completely out of control. Problem gambling is any gambling issue that disrupts your life. If you’re thinking about gambling, spending more and more time and pounds on it, chasing losses, or gambling in spite of some serious consequences, you may have a gambling problem.