Gambling is the wagering of something of value on an event whose outcome is largely determined by chance, with the intent to win more than what was invested. It includes activities such as placing bets on sporting events, buying scratchcards, or playing games of chance like dice or cards. It is also possible to gamble on virtual events and games involving skill, such as online poker. Gambling has been around for millennia, with records of the earliest six-sided dice dating back to prehistoric Mesopotamia. There has been a long history of legal prohibition of gambling, often on moral or religious grounds or to maintain social order by preventing violent disputes over money.
Whether you bet on football matches, play the pokies or buy a lotto ticket, you will always be at risk of losing more than you win. It is important to remember that gambling is not a way to make money and you should only ever gamble with disposable income, never use money that needs to be saved or used for paying bills.
If you are unable to stop gambling, it is vital to seek help. There are many treatment options available including individual and family therapy, marital and marriage counseling, career counselling and debt management programs. You can also find support in a peer-support group such as Gamblers Anonymous, which follows the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous and has a network of international chapters that offer help and guidance to those struggling with gambling addiction.