What is Gambling?

Gambling is betting something of value on an event with a random component and an expectation of winning something of value. This can include playing games of chance like poker, fruit machines, roulette and blackjack, betting on horse or greyhound races or football accumulators, gambling online and even lottery. It doesn’t include bona fide business transactions like purchasing at a future date securities or commodities, contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, accident and health insurance.

Problem gambling can harm your relationships, performance at work or study and lead to debt and homelessness. It can cause depression and anxiety, and affect your health in the long term. It can also cause you to hide your gambling activity or lie about it, resulting in conflict with your family and friends. It can have an impact on children too.

It is a complex issue, but it’s possible to get help and support. There are organisations that offer support, counselling and advice to people who want to reduce or stop their gambling. They can also help you to understand how gambling is affecting your life.

Many people with gambling problems find it hard to recognise that they have a problem. They can be secretive about their gambling or lie to others about it, feeling that they won’t be believed if they admit their problems. They may feel compelled to gamble, despite the harm that it’s causing them, and keep increasing their bets in the hope of winning back their lost money.