What is Gambling?


Whether it’s buying Lotto tickets, placing bets on sports events or spinning the pokies, many people gamble at some stage in their lives. However, it’s important to understand the risks and consequences of gambling so you can make more informed decisions. This article will give you an in-depth look at how gambling works and what you need to know before you start.

What is gambling?

Gambling involves risking something of value (money, property or personal safety) in the hope of getting something of greater value. It can be an enjoyable pastime, but compulsive gambling can be harmful. This is because a gambling addiction can lead to financial disaster, strain relationships and even cause a person to steal or lie to fund their habit.

People with mental health problems are more likely to have a gambling problem than those without one, and can experience a range of negative effects such as depression and anxiety. In fact, there is a strong link between gambling and suicide. If you are thinking about killing yourself or are at risk of hurting yourself, call 999 or go to A&E immediately.

While the psychiatric community has historically not considered pathological gambling to be an addictive disorder, the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) places it in the category of impulse control disorders, alongside kleptomania, pyromania and trichotillomania. This move has been widely praised as a significant advancement for the recognition of gambling disorders.

There are many different types of gambling, including:

People who struggle with a gambling problem often report that they do it to relieve unpleasant feelings or boredom. However, there are many healthier and safer ways to do this, such as exercise, socialising with friends who don’t gamble or practicing relaxation techniques. If you’re concerned about your own gambling habits or those of a loved one, speak to a counsellor for free, confidential advice.