Gambling is the act of betting something of value on an event whose outcome can be determined at least in part by chance. The stake can be money, or any other possession that the gambler believes has a value, but once placed it cannot be taken back.
The most obvious form of gambling is betting on a sporting or other event. But many other activities also fall under the gambling category. This includes playing bingo, buying lottery tickets, and participating in workplace pools, for example.
Having an understanding of the odds and knowing when to stop is essential for responsible gambling. You can use this knowledge to plan ahead and decide how much time or money you will spend on gambling.
When to quit gambling
There are some signs that you may be a problem gambler and it is important to stop as soon as you realise the impact on your life. These signs include spending too much on your bets, losing a lot of money, and causing harm to your relationships.
Compulsive gambling, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the impact on your life. It can be a serious addiction and can lead to financial ruin, debt and homelessness.
People with gambling problems often need support from family, friends and work colleagues to get help. They need to understand why they are gambling, learn ways to manage their moods and relieve unpleasant feelings, and find new coping skills. They might also need mental health and substance abuse treatments.