Gambling is the wagering of something of value, usually money or material goods, on an event with an uncertain outcome. This event can be as simple as the roll of a dice or the spin of a roulette wheel, but it can also extend to future events such as a football game or horse race.
A large portion of gambling is conducted through lotteries, which are state-operated or licensed enterprises that offer people a chance to win prizes by buying tickets. This type of gambling has become very popular, with an estimated $10 trillion wagered legally in the world each year. Gambling can also occur at commercial establishments such as casinos, which offer customers the opportunity to place bets on games of chance or skill. These games often involve the use of technology such as electronic betting terminals, and may be regulated by law.
Some people use gambling as a way to socialise, or to escape from stress or worries. But for some, it becomes problematic and starts to cause harm. If you’re worried about your own gambling or that of a loved one, there is help available.
The first step is recognising that you have a problem. You can get help from professionals, including therapists and family & peer support groups. You can also find help with managing your finances and credit, and getting out of debt, by speaking to an advisor at StepChange.