What is Gambling?


Gambling is the wagering of something of value (money or other assets) on an event that has an uncertain outcome, mainly due to chance. It is common for people to gamble on games of chance, such as slot machines or scratchcards, and it is also possible to place bets on sporting events such as football matches or horse races. The chances of winning are determined by the ‘odds’ set by betting companies, which range from a low probability to a life-changing jackpot.

Problem gambling is a complex issue that can have serious consequences for individuals and families. In addition to financial difficulties, it can affect a person’s health, relationships and career. It is estimated that between 1-2 million adults have a severe gambling disorder. Many more people experience milder forms of gambling problem and the majority of these do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of a gambling disorder.

Changing harmful gambling behaviour is difficult and often takes time. For some people, it is helpful to seek professional support or counselling. Counselling can help you understand your gambling and think about how it is affecting you. It can also be a way to talk about the issues with family and friends. It is also important to find other ways of relieving unpleasant feelings, such as boredom or loneliness, instead of gambling. This could include exercise, spending time with non-gambling friends or trying relaxation techniques. It is also worth considering seeking residential or inpatient treatment if you have a gambling disorder.