What is Gambling?

Gambling is an activity where something of value, usually money, is placed at risk on the outcome of a game or event that involves some element of chance. It can be played in casinos or on other platforms, such as poker, bingo, lotteries, scratchcards, horse races, dice games, sports events and a range of other activities.

A number of factors may provoke problematic gambling, including a history of problem gambling, the presence of other mental health problems (such as depression or anxiety), and financial crises. People who are addicted to gambling may also be more likely to commit suicide. If you think you may have a gambling disorder, speak to a professional for help.

It is possible to recover from a gambling addiction, but it takes courage to acknowledge the problem and ask for help. Several types of therapy can be helpful in treating gambling disorder. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can address beliefs and behaviours around betting. It can look at how a person thinks about winning and losing, and whether they believe certain rituals can bring them luck.

Those who have a gambling disorder may develop symptoms in adolescence or early adulthood. It tends to run in families, and it can be exacerbated by stressors. Males develop a gambling disorder at a higher rate, and they start to experience symptoms earlier than women. In addition, men are more likely to engage in strategic or face-to-face forms of gambling, whereas women are more likely to experience nonstrategic or interpersonally interactive forms of gambling.