Gambling is an activity in which people wager something of value on a random event with the intention of winning something else of value. The term “gambling” is also used to refer to a specific type of game, such as a lottery, race or football match, where a participant pays money or other consideration to participate. Although gambling is a popular worldwide pastime, there are many risks associated with it. People may lose more than they gain, and can experience serious problems such as debt, emotional stress, and broken relationships. Fortunately, many people overcome these difficulties and return to a healthy lifestyle.
The underlying mood disorders that cause compulsive gambling are similar to those that trigger other types of addictions. In many cases, they can be treated with the same methods, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It is important to seek help if you have a gambling problem, especially if it has caused you to lose money and strain your relationship with others.
Gambling impacts are categorized into costs and benefits, with the latter grouped into three classes: financial, labor and health, and well-being. Financial costs include gambling-related revenue, tourist attraction and impacts on other industries. Labor and health costs are related to changes in a gambler’s employment status, job performance, and work-related health issues. Well-being costs are non-monetary in nature and can be assessed using quality of life weights. Generally, research has focused on financial and labor impacts and less attention has been paid to interpersonal and community/societal impacts.