Gambling is when you risk money or other things of value to win in a game that involves chance. This can include gambling on sports, fruit machines, scratchcards and other games that involve randomness or chance.
The word ‘gambling’ can also be used to refer to any activity that is a gamble, even though it may not be called so. This could be something as simple as a single person or a social group predicting success or failure in a game of chance, or it might be something more complex where a commercial entity takes an action such as investing in a new technology in the hope that it will be highly demanded by consumers.
Regardless of the activity, when it becomes excessive and begins to have a negative effect on your life, then it might be time to talk about it with someone you trust. Often, people are able to stop their gambling problems on their own, but some people need help.
A mental health professional will use certain criteria to diagnose a person with Gambling Disorder. These criteria are included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
If you’re worried that you or someone you know has a gambling problem, it is important to seek support. Contact a Gambling Helpline for more information or speak to a counsellor.
A person with a gambling problem may have repeated problems related to their gambling including not fulfilling work or home duties, legal problems and repeated conflicts with other people. They might also be preoccupied with gambling and unable to control their behavior. This can result in them committing crimes to pay for their gambling.