Gambling Addiction


Gambling is any game in which someone stakes something of value (money, property or possessions) on an event whose outcome is determined by chance. People gamble in places such as casinos, racetracks, bingo halls, lotteries and on the internet. Gambling is a form of entertainment, and some people do it responsibly. However, some people have a problem with gambling, and it can affect their health, relationships, work or study performance and cause serious debt. It can even lead to homelessness.

A gambling addiction can occur when a person’s risk taking and reward seeking behaviors become out of control. While there are no medications to treat a gambling disorder, counseling can help a person understand their behavior and think about options. Family and friends can also be very supportive.

While most people gamble to have fun, some people start to gamble more often than they can afford and begin to lose money or items of value. This is called compulsive gambling. People with this disorder may lie about their problem or hide their gambling. They may become irritable, aggressive or secretive and start lying to their families and employers.

Gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry that can be found in many countries around the world. It is estimated that around $10 trillion is legally wagered annually. Some forms of gambling are illegal. Examples include horse and greyhound racing, football accumulators and state-licensed lottery games such as scratch cards and instant lotteries.

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