What is Gambling?


Gambling is the wagering of something of value (money or other assets) on an event with a chance of winning something else of value. It is a common activity and, according to the American Gaming Association, the amount of money legally wagered in the world annually is about $10 trillion.

Gambling can take place in many settings, including casinos, racetracks and sporting events. People also place bets on the outcome of games or events they observe at home, at work, or in public places such as bars and restaurants. People gamble for fun, to win money and even for charity.

It is estimated that about three to four percent of adults and adolescents have gambling problems. These can range from a desire to gamble but being unable to do so, to pathological gambling which is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as a persistent, recurrent pattern of gambling behavior causing significant distress or impairment in a person’s life.

Gambling can be a social and enjoyable pastime when it is done in moderation, but it is not for everyone. People who struggle with gambling should seek professional help to address the problem before it reaches a crisis point and has a negative impact on their life and family, jobs, or relationships. Counseling can help people understand their addiction to gambling and develop skills to change their gambling behaviors. It can also help them repair damaged relationships and financial situations caused by the addiction.