Gambling Disorder

Gambling involves making a bet on a certain event, such as the outcome of a game or a horse race. This bet is matched against the odds, which are set by the betting company. The odds are usually presented as a percentage (such as 5/1 or 2/1), which determine how much money you could win if you placed your bet correctly.

While most people who gamble do so for recreational purposes, some develop gambling disorder, a condition that is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as an impulse control problem characterized by recurrent loss-controlling impulses and persistent preoccupation with gambling. Symptoms include persistent urges to gamble, difficulty controlling gambling spending, and an inability to understand the extent of their problem.

Gambling can impact on a personal, interpersonal and community/society level. Individual/personal impacts are invisible to gamblers themselves and involve family, friends and work colleagues. Interpersonal/community level impacts are monetary and include general costs, costs related to problem gambling and long-term cost.

Problem gambling can lead to social problems such as lying, hiding and denial, which can cause significant harm to families and friends. It can also affect a person’s work performance and health and well-being. In addition, some communities consider gambling a normal pastime and may not recognize when it becomes a problem. As a result, it can be difficult to get help for gambling-related problems. Getting support from loved ones can help prevent or stop gambling-related problems.