Gambling is betting something of value on an event that is determined by chance in the hope that it will yield a positive outcome. It can include playing slot machines, keno, baccarat, roulette, blackjack, poker, and bingo, as well as sports betting and lottery-like games. The key components of gambling are consideration, risk, and a prize.

Negative effects of gambling can be observed at the individual, interpersonal and community/societal levels. These impacts can be structurally classified into costs and benefits. Costs can be divided into three classes: financial, labor and health/wellbeing. Benefits can be categorized into three classes as well: leisure, social, and personal development.

The majority of gambling impact studies focus on the quantification of economic costs and benefits, which are relatively straightforward to identify and quantify. However, it has been suggested that such studies are missing major negative social impacts associated with gambling [34].

If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, it’s important to seek help. There are several options for treatment, including outpatient and residential programs based on the 12-step recovery model of Alcoholics Anonymous. During treatment, you’ll work with a counselor to understand the disorder and think about how it affects your life. In addition, you can strengthen your support network, find other things to do with your time, and take steps to manage money and credit. Lastly, consider getting a sponsor – a former gambler who has experienced staying free from gambling and can offer guidance.