Gambling involves risking something of value on an event that is determined at least in part by chance. It’s the opposite of skill-based games like chess or basketball, where players are trying to outwit their opponent.
It is important to be aware of how gambling affects your personal finances, and seek help if you are worried about problem gambling. A good way to prevent excessive gambling is to set a budget, and keep track of how much you spend on the activity. In addition, it is important to avoid gambling with your credit card or other high-risk methods of payment.
Problem gambling is defined as an activity that is done to the extent that it negatively impacts other areas of a person’s life, such as their health, school or work performance, and/or relationships. People who suffer from problem gambling may become isolated, lie or steal to fund their habit, and even jeopardize their relationships with family and friends.
In the DSM-5, gambling disorder has been moved from a subcategory of impulse control disorders to one of behavioral addictions, reflecting research findings that it shares some features with substance use disorders in terms of clinical expression, brain origin, comorbidity and treatment. The criteria for gambling disorder include damage or disruption, loss of control, and dependence. Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and group and family therapy. In addition, some people have found relief through the peer support program Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous.