Gambling is the act of risking something of value, usually money or material valuables, on an uncertain outcome. It involves the concept of chance and can vary from simple games like the roll of a dice or the spin of a roulette wheel to more complex forms such as casino gambling, sports betting, lotteries, pull-tab games and scratchcards.

Many people gamble for fun and enjoyment with friends or family in a private setting. These types of activities may include card games such as poker or spades, board games such as Monopoly or bridge, and other games where participants wager tokens or chips and the primary aim is fun and social interaction. Occasionally, some individuals may place bets on sporting events such as football games or horse races with others in their social circles. These bets are typically informal and small in scale.

Some individuals develop a gambling addiction and need help to control their gambling behaviours. Problem gambling affects people from all walks of life and can impact anyone regardless of economic status, culture or level of education. Certain factors can increase an individual’s vulnerability to problem gambling, such as genetics, brain chemistry, medical history and age.

Some people have trouble recognizing they have a gambling problem and seek help only when their situation becomes severe. They often deny their problem and try to cope with their symptoms by lying or hiding their gambling activity. For these individuals, inpatient or residential treatment and rehab programs are available to provide round-the-clock support and a structured environment that allows them to focus on their recovery.