Gambling is an activity that involves risking something of value (money, property or other assets) for the purpose of winning some form of prize. It may take the form of card games, dice, lottery tickets, betting on horse races or football accumulators, scratchcards and other instant games. Gambling can also involve speculating on business, insurance and stock markets.
Gambling can have significant social and economic impacts on individuals, their families, friends and communities. These impacts are seen at the personal, interpersonal and community/society level and can be monetary or non-monetary in nature. They can be direct or indirect and can have short- or long-term effects.
Research into gambling’s impacts has taken a variety of approaches. Some focus on the cost of illness (similar to that used for alcohol and drug research) whilst others try to find a balance between costs and benefits by using cost-benefit analysis.
Often, people turn to gambling to self-soothe unpleasant feelings or to relieve boredom. It’s important to remember that there are healthier and more effective ways to deal with these issues. For example, you could try doing some exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble or practicing relaxation techniques. It’s also important to avoid gambling when you’re under pressure or feeling anxious or depressed. In addition, if you’re struggling with gambling addiction, seek help from a therapist or counselor. These professionals can help you learn to control your cravings and improve your relationships, finances and health.