Gambling is risking something of value on an event whose outcome is determined at least in part by chance, with the intent of winning money or other goods or services. It is most often associated with slot machines and casinos, but playing bingo, buying lottery or scratch tickets, and even betting on office pools can be forms of gambling. Gambling is not considered to be a mental illness, but many people who have trouble with gambling have been diagnosed with a related condition, pathological gambling disorder.
While many studies focus on financial, labor and health, and well-being impacts of gambling, it is also important to consider other social/community/societal impacts as well. These include community and society changes (e.g., increased crime rates), social cohesion and other aspects of quality of life, family problems and relationships, emotional stress and other negative consequences that cannot be easily measured in monetary terms.
The good news is that it is possible to stop gambling if you want to. The first step is to decide to do it, and if you are having trouble with this, talking with someone who won’t judge you can help. Having a plan and setting short-term goals can also be helpful. It is also a good idea to reduce your financial risk by getting rid of credit cards, having someone else be in charge of your finances, and closing online betting accounts. Trying to stop gambling can be difficult and you may experience a relapse at times, but the key is to keep trying.