Although the vast majority of people who gamble do not have a problem, some people develop compulsive gambling. Problematic gambling includes a range of behaviours, including stealing money to gamble; lying to family members and friends about the extent of their gambling involvement; jeopardizing personal, employment, or educational opportunities in order to gamble; and using illegal activities (such as forgery, fraud, theft, embezzlement, or loan sharking) to finance gambling.
Gambling can also provide social benefits, such as bringing people together in a common interest (such as sports or horse racing) or serving as an entertaining alternative to more serious forms of recreation such as watching television or reading. In addition, it can teach valuable lessons about risk-taking and probability. It can also be used as a tool to teach maths, providing real-world examples of probability, statistics, and risk management.
It is also important to note that a large portion of gambling profits go to the local economy. This can help to stimulate the economy, providing jobs and revenue for governments. It can also help to raise awareness of particular issues and charities.
Those who have a problem with gambling may find it difficult to seek help, particularly in the context of their culture. This can be a result of an emphasis on gambling in their family, community or culture and the assumption that it is an acceptable pastime. Additionally, some cultures consider problem gambling a taboo and do not openly discuss it with others.