Gambling is sort of like Marmite – it divides people and many believe it should be legal or illegal. However, if governments banned gambling they would simply push it underground and into the hands of criminals who wouldn’t be at all concerned with their customers’ safety. Legal gambling also has a positive impact on the economy, providing jobs and tax revenue for local communities.

People gamble for a variety of reasons – the adrenaline rush of winning, socialising with friends or as a form of escapism from their worries and stress. However, for some people it becomes an addiction that can have serious consequences on their life and those around them.

Unlike other games of chance, gambling requires a level of skill and strategy. It can help to improve a person’s mental health as it requires them to be more observant and mentally challenge their brain. It can also improve math skills as players must be able to calculate odds and probability. In addition, gambling can be used as a tool to teach statistics and risk management in the classroom.

It is important to recognise if you have a problem with gambling and seek help. There are a number of options available including self-help, peer support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous and residential treatment and rehab programmes. The most effective way to tackle a problem with gambling is by strengthening your support network, removing triggers and getting professional help.