Gambling is the wagering of something of value (money, possessions or otherwise) on an event involving chance or skill. The objective is to win a prize that can range from a small amount of money to a life-changing jackpot. It is a popular pastime for many people, and can be found in many forms: from playing card games, fruit machines, video poker and other casino games to betting on horse races, football accumulators, elections and lottery draws.

In some cases, gambling becomes a problem and has a negative impact on a person’s wellbeing. This can include jeopardising personal relationships, causing financial hardship or making it difficult to get on with their work.

Problem gamblers can also be preoccupied with their gambling activities and lie to conceal the extent of their involvement. They may even try to recover lost money by gambling again, which is known as chasing losses. They are also more likely to experience a mood episode, such as depression or anxiety.

While there are no medications specifically approved for the treatment of gambling disorder, it is recommended that those struggling seek professional help. Counselling can help people understand their problem and explore how their behaviour affects them, their family and others around them. It can also help them develop a new, more healthy way of thinking about gambling and find ways to deal with the temptations it poses. In the newest version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, gambling disorder has been placed in a category alongside other behavioral addictions.