What is Gambling?
A person is gambling whenever he or she takes the chance of losing money or belongings, and when winning or losing is decided mostly by chance.
There are many different ways to gamble, including:
- Casino games
- Slot machines
- Lottery tickets
- Scratch, Nevada or pull-tab tickets
- Betting on card games
- Betting on horse racing
- Other sports betting
- Betting on games of skill, such as golf or pool
- Internet gambling
- Stock market speculation
What is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is not just about the loss of money, but how it can affect the person’s life. Gambling is a problem when it interferes with work, school or other activities, leads to emotional or physical health problems, causes financial issues, harms the family or other relationships.
You may have heard the following terms, which have also been used to describe problem gambling:
- Gambling addiction
- Compulsive gambling
- Pathological gambling
- Gambling disorder
Gambling Problems occur along a continuum. These are not discrete categories but possible points along a range of involvement.
- No gambling: Some people never gamble.
- Casual social gambling: Most people gamble casually, buying the occasional raffle or lottery ticket or occasionally visiting a casino for entertainment.
- Serious social gambling: These people play regularly. It is their main form of entertainment, but it does not come before family and work.
- Harmful involvement: These people are experiencing difficulties in their personal, work and social relationships.
- Pathological gambling: For a small but significant number of people, gambling seriously harms all aspects of their lives. People with gambling problems this severe are unable to control the urge to gamble, despite the harm it causes. These people are more likely to use gambling to escape from problems and to get relief from anxiety.