Gambling is an activity that involves risking money or personal belongings for a chance to win. It includes all forms of gaming such as card games, fruit machines, video-draw poker, slot machines and two-up as well as betting on horse and greyhound races, football accumulators, other sporting events and elections, lotteries, instant scratch cards, raffles and bingo as well as speculation (gambling on business, insurance or stock markets). It also covers online gambling.

Gambling can be for social, financial or entertainment reasons. It can provide a thrill and a rush of excitement. Some people dream of winning big and retiring on their own private island. Others gamble for the rush of adrenaline, or to escape from boredom or stress. Some people are more vulnerable to gambling problems and may have underlying mood disorders like depression or anxiety, which can trigger or be made worse by gambling.

Those who struggle with gambling problems can benefit from counselling and other treatments that help them understand and control their problem. A therapist can teach them how to break negative habits, improve relationships and manage stress. BetterHelp offers confidential, effective online therapy and is a great option for those who have trouble finding in-person support groups. In severe cases, those with a gambling disorder may benefit from inpatient or residential treatment programs. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling, get help as soon as possible. It takes courage to admit that you have a problem, especially when it has cost you money and strained your relationships.