Gambling involves placing something of value, usually money, on an event with a large element of chance and the potential to win a prize. It is a popular pastime that can be done in many ways including betting on football matches, playing slots, machines, instant scratchcards, horse races, dice, roulett and more.
It’s a huge industry, estimated to be worth around $10 trillion worldwide (though illegal gambling could be much more). People can gamble in casinos, online, on sports events, in lotteries, and even through video games.
Some people who gamble don’t have problems and it can be a great way to socialise, but for others it becomes a destructive habit that affects their life. There is a strong link between mental health and harmful gambling, with people with depression often more at risk of developing a problem. There is also a link between suicidal thoughts and gambling problems, so it’s important to seek help if you feel that your life is not worth living.
It’s also worth highlighting that the way a person gambles is influenced by their personality, family history and their environment. Some people are more genetically predisposed to developing a gambling disorder, while other factors like trauma and financial stress can lead to addictions. If you think that someone close to you may be struggling with a gambling addiction, take a look at the effective treatments available to them, and help them to seek support.