Gambling is the risking of money or something else of value on an event whose outcome is determined by chance, where skill is not involved. Skill can help improve the odds of winning in some games of chance, such as certain card games and horse races, but these skills cannot be considered gambling because they are not used for purposes other than recreation or sport.
A person who gambles has a higher risk of developing problems if they are:
— unable to control their behavior; — spends more time gambling than they intended, and tries to win back lost money by betting even more; — feels an urge to gamble in spite of negative consequences; — lies to family members, therapists, or employers about the extent of their gambling problem; — is reluctant to seek help for a gambling problem; — has committed illegal acts (such as fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery) to fund gambling; — loses significant relationships, job opportunities, or educational and career prospects because of gambling; or — frequently relapses into gambling.
When someone you love has a gambling problem, it can be difficult to know how to respond. It is important to remember that a person who has a problem with gambling does not want to be in this position and did not choose it for themselves. It is also important to understand that they likely do not realize the extent of their addiction and may be trying to hide it from you.