Gambling involves placing money or something of value on the outcome of a game with an element of chance, such as fruit machines, card games, bingo, slots, scratch cards, lottery tickets, horse and greyhound races, football accumulators, sporting events and other betting activities. It may also be an activity that uses collectible game pieces such as marbles, pogs or Magic: The Gathering cards as stakes. It is a major source of recreational activity and a popular form of entertainment worldwide, and is an important component of many social environments.
Gambling is not always harmful but can cause serious problems for some people, including financial loss, family and friendship difficulties, poor performance at work or study, and even homelessness. Problem gambling can be a hidden addiction that is difficult to recognise and address and can have a devastating impact on a person’s health, relationships and wellbeing.
It is important to recognise the signs of problem gambling and seek help if you or someone you know is struggling. Symptoms of a gambling problem include: