What Is Gambling?

Gambling May 11, 2024

Gambling involves risking something of value on an event that is determined at least in part by chance in the hope of gaining something of value. It includes placing bets or staking money or possessions on uncertain events such as sports games, television shows, scratchcards and the lottery. It also includes predicting outcomes of games based on skill (such as playing poker).

It is widely accepted that gambling involves a substantial degree of impulsiveness, but the extent to which this relates to the development of problem gambling remains unclear. Some researchers have suggested that the impulsiveness associated with gambling is related to the tendency of some individuals to seek sensation and novelty. Other investigators have linked the impulsivity that is associated with gambling to state-level factors such as arousal and negative emotionality.

Many people enjoy gambling and it provides a range of socialization benefits for individuals. For example, it allows people to spend time with friends and family, and it also allows people to relax.

However, when gambling becomes a serious problem it can lead to financial, personal and psychological problems. The understanding of pathological gambling has undergone a major change, as illustrated by the fact that the term ‘pathological gambler’ has replaced the terms ‘adverse consequences of gambling’ and ‘gambling disorder’ in the latest editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (called DSM).

There is a wide range of services available to people who have a gambling problem or are worried about someone else’s gambling. These services include support, counselling and advice.