What is Gambling?


Gambling involves risking money or other valuables in a game with an element of chance, such as the lottery, scratchcards, fruit machines and casino games like roulette, poker and blackjack. It can also be done by betting on sports events such as football accumulators or horse races, and by gambling with other people, for example, in online casinos. The odds, which are set by the company offering the event or scratchcards, are a ratio of how often you will lose compared to how often you will win, and the amount of money you can get if you are correct in your prediction.

Gamblers may gamble for a variety of reasons, from recreation to coping with depression and anxiety. They can start to feel compelled to gamble even when they don’t have any spare money, chasing losses in the hope that they will soon be lucky enough to recoup what they’ve lost, or for the feeling of excitement and anticipation that comes with winning. Some researchers have argued that gambling behaviours are driven by a combination of factors including sensation-seeking, novelty-seeking and the desire for intense states of arousal.

Problem gambling can be a serious, debilitating issue that can lead to strained or broken relationships and even financial ruin. But there are ways to break the cycle and start to live again. If you’re worried about someone close to you, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and there are many organisations who can help. BetterHelp is an online service that matches you with a therapist who can help you overcome depression, anxiety, relationships and more. Take our assessment and get matched in as little as 48 hours.