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What is Gambling?

Gambling is an activity that involves wagering something of value (money, property or assets) on a random event with the hope of winning something else of value. It is often done with a tangible object of some sort, such as marbles or cards, but can also involve intangible objects such as points or prizes for games of collectible card and board games like Magic: The Gathering.

The negative effects of gambling are well known and include problems with addiction and financial difficulties. However, some studies have also identified positive impacts on the gambler and those around them. These positive effects can range from increased social interactions to learning personal skills.

Whether or not you are a gambler, you are likely to encounter gambling in your everyday life. Almost all states have some form of legal gambling and it is becoming increasingly accessible as technology advances. Many forms of gambling are now available online and over half of the UK population takes part in gambling activities. Problem gambling can damage physical and mental health, cause family and relationship issues, harm performance at work or study and result in serious debt and even homelessness.

There are many ways to be responsible with gambling, including setting limits on how much you will spend and how long you will play for. You should never chase your losses, thinking you are due for a win – this is known as the ‘gambler’s fallacy’ and will usually lead to bigger losses.