Gambling is the betting of something of value on an uncertain event where there is the possibility of winning something else of value. The terms “gambling” and “gambling disorder” are used to describe an underlying mental health problem in some individuals. These individuals can become addicted to gambling for a variety of reasons, including the adrenaline rush, socialising and escape from worries or stress. In some cases, this can lead to serious problems. These include betting more than you can afford to lose, borrowing money and putting your financial or personal lives at risk.
In addition to betting on sporting events and games of chance, there are other types of gambling that involve skill (e.g., poker). While these skills may decrease the probability of losing, they do not change the overall odds of winning or loss. The actuarial process used to set insurance premiums is similar to the methods that professional gamblers use when selecting their bets.
People who gamble compulsively have a greater risk of developing an addiction than those who do not. In some cases, the addiction can cause psychological, social and legal problems. Common signs of a gambling disorder include: