What is Gambling?


Gambling is the wagering of money or something else of value on the outcome of a game of chance with an awareness of the risk and in the hope of gain. It can range from the buying of lottery tickets by people with very little, to high-stakes casino gambling by the rich, either for profit or as a hobby. Some governments prohibit gambling or restrict it to certain types of games. Most people who gamble do so responsibly and are able to stop when they want to. For others, however, gambling can harm their physical and mental health, relationships, performance at work or study, and get them into trouble with the law. Some may even kill themselves as a result of problem gambling.

Although it is not well understood, some people are more prone to developing gambling problems than others. Research suggests that genetic factors may be involved. There are also differences in the way people process reward information, control impulses and weigh risks. Culture plays a role in how people view their gambling behaviour and what they consider to be problematic.

If someone you know is struggling with gambling, don’t be afraid to seek help. There are many organisations that offer support, assistance and counselling for people with gambling addictions. These services include family therapy and marriage, career and credit counseling. There are also residential treatment and rehab programmes for people who are unable to stop gambling on their own.