Gambling is a risky activity where a person puts something of value (either money or property) at stake in the hope of winning. Some forms of gambling include casino games like roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines; betting on sports events such as football accumulators or horse races; lotteries; and speculating on business, insurance and stock market prices.

Some people who gamble do so for fun, while others use it as a way to relieve boredom or stress. However, for some people who are at-risk of developing a gambling problem (also called compulsive gambling), the urge to gamble can be overwhelming and lead to serious problems. Problem gambling can damage health, ruin relationships, cause financial difficulties and even lead to bankruptcy and homelessness.

For many people, gambling is not a problem if they play responsibly and within their means. However, some people may develop a gambling addiction that can affect their mental and physical health and damage their family and careers. Problem gambling is also linked to mood disorders such as depression or stress, and can make these disorders worse.

The word ‘gambling’ can refer to a number of different activities, but the most common form of gambling involves placing bets on events that involve an element of chance or skill. This can be done in brick-and-mortar casinos, online casinos and on sports events through bookmakers and other betting outlets. People can also engage in social gambling by playing card or board games with friends for small amounts of money, buying lottery tickets or placing bets on the outcome of a game of marbles or collectible games such as Magic: The Gathering using discs or tokens that have value.