What is Gambling?


Gambling is any game in which a person stakes something of value on the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his or her control. This includes games of skill such as chess, but it also includes games of chance such as slot machines and roulette. It may take place in brick-and-mortar casinos or on the Internet. It may involve betting on sporting events, horse races or even political elections. Increasingly, gambling takes the form of online poker and other video games. It can also be conducted with objects that have a value but not money, such as marbles, pogs or collectable trading cards.

Problem gambling is a serious issue that can affect an individual’s physical and mental health, relationships with family and friends, work performance, and finances. It can even lead to homelessness. People who are addicted to gambling can be impulsive and have difficulty controlling their actions. They often feel the urge to gamble in order to relieve stress or boredom, and they can find it hard to stop.

People who are suffering from gambling addiction can seek help and treatment. Many community organisations offer support, assistance and counselling for those who are affected by gambling problems. They can provide support for individuals and their families, and they may also offer peer-support groups such as Gamlers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also a number of gambling addiction rehabilitation programmes aimed at helping people break free from gambling addiction.

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