The act of gambling involves risking something of value (money, property or other assets) on a random event with the intention of winning something else of value. It is a very common activity around the world, and it can be found in a variety of forms. For example, you might bet on a horse race or on an office pool, gamble with your friends over games of marbles or cards, or play online poker or slots. It is also a form of entertainment and can be an escape from stressful or unpleasant situations.
Gambling can have negative and positive impacts on people’s lives. Negative impacts can include financial, labor and health issues. These are mainly at the personal level, but can also extend to the interpersonal and society/community levels. Positive impacts can include the enjoyment of gambling, and a sense of achievement. These can also be at the personal or social/interpersonal level, and can involve other people such as family members.
If you are struggling with a gambling addiction it is important to get help as soon as possible. One of the biggest steps is admitting that you have a problem, which can be extremely difficult. The good news is that there are many resources available to help you get back on track. The first step is to speak with a counsellor, it’s free and confidential, and can be done at any time, 24/7. You can also join a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous.