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What is Gambling?

Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event where instances of strategy are discounted. It requires three elements to be present – consideration, risk, and a prize. This can be as small as a coin or as large as a jackpot on a slot machine or other casino game. People gamble for a variety of reasons including gaining an income, socializing with friends, or simply because they like the thrill of winning. There are many different types of gambling and it is important to remember that there is always a possibility of losing.

The occurrence of gambling related harm is well established and is often accompanied by a range of negative consequences including the loss of money, possessions and relationships. However, despite the fact that most treatment approaches and public health initiatives refer to harm minimisation, there is no consensus on a functional definition of harm and a clear conceptualisation of how it manifests for the individual, their affected others and their communities.

Research suggests that a high level of pathological gambling (PG) is associated with mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and stress. It is also associated with family issues and financial difficulties, especially when children are involved. It is important to seek help if you are experiencing these problems, as they may be making your gambling worse. Seek counseling to help you work through the issues that are creating the urge to gamble, and find healthier ways to relieve unpleasant emotions. Consider attending family or marriage therapy, and find a support group for gamblers.