What is Gambling?


Gambling is any activity in which you risk money for the chance of winning a prize. This can be done at casinos, racetracks, betting shops and online. It can also be a game of skill or luck, such as playing a card game or buying a scratchcard. It involves a choice and the risk of losing, and often the odds are not in your favour.

It can affect your mental and physical health, cause financial problems, interfere with your work or study and damage relationships. It can lead to homelessness, drug or alcohol misuse and even suicide. Problem gambling can be found across all socioeconomic groups and may affect those with or without education or formal qualifications. However, there are a number of factors that increase the likelihood of developing a gambling problem, including age, gender, family history, cultural background, levels of social support and medical history.

Symptoms of a gambling disorder can include an inability to control spending, increasing amounts of time spent on gambling, lying about the amount you have lost and feelings of restlessness or irritability. If you feel you are struggling with gambling, try to find healthier ways to relieve unpleasant emotions or to unwind, such as exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble and finding new hobbies.

You should only wager money you can afford to lose and keep track of your winnings and losses. Only ever play with money that comes from your entertainment budget, never use an ATM machine and don’t be tempted to borrow or lend to gamble. Remember: What goes up must come down!