Problem gambling can have many negative social, physical, and psychological consequences. It is a psychological disorder classified as an impulse-control disorder, which means that it is difficult to control a person’s urges and impulses. Gamblers may suffer from migraine, digestive problems, and intestinal disorders, among other physical symptoms. In addition, these symptoms can cause despondency, despair, and even attempts at suicide. Ultimately, a person may not be able to control their urges to gamble unless help is sought.
In addition to focusing on physical and emotional issues, people with gambling addiction should strengthen their support system. They should try to make new friends who do not involve gambling. They can also try volunteering for a cause they believe in, or join a peer support group to receive support and guidance from others with similar experiences. One such peer support group is Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. There, members are assigned a sponsor, who is an experienced gambler who will offer guidance and support.
Some countries regulate gambling activities. Commercial establishments may organize gambling so that they can easily collect a share of the money wagered by patrons. Large-scale gambling activities, such as casinos, may require professional or commercial organization. However, legal gambling is a worldwide phenomenon. The amount of money wagered annually on gambling activities is estimated to be more than $10 trillion. Aside from casinos, the majority of nations also offer lottery games and sports betting. The popularity of gambling has helped create many social and economic effects.