Gambling and Problem Gambling


Gambling is the act of risking something of value, usually money, on an uncertain outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under your control or influence. This does not include bona fide business transactions valid under contract law, such as buying and selling securities or commodities; contracts of indemnity or guaranty; or life, health or accident insurance.

While many people think that gambling is all about the prospect of winning big money, people gamble for a variety of reasons. Some like the social aspect of playing card games or board games with friends and the feeling of euphoria that is associated with them; some find it distracts them from their daily problems; and others are motivated by a desire to escape boredom or stress.

Regardless of why you are gambling, there is always a degree of risk involved and the odds are never in your favor. Gambling can lead to problems when your desire to win exceeds your ability to manage the risks and losses. Symptoms of gambling problems can range from minor to severe and are not characterized by the medical model used in psychiatry (DSM-IV).

Gambling is a high-risk, low-reward activity that can involve a great deal of money. Problem gambling affects people from all walks of life, from rich to poor, and it can occur in small towns or big cities. It can be a result of personal or family problems, financial issues, depression and a lack of social support.