Gambling is any game of chance in which you stake something of value against the probability of winning a prize. It can include lotteries, casino games, sports gambling and even games played on the Internet.

Gambling affects people at the personal, interpersonal and community/societal levels. These impacts can be positive or negative and may be long-term or short-term in nature. The costs and benefits of gambling can be framed using the following conceptual model:

Financial impacts are economic in nature, such as changes in gambling revenues or tourism, impacts on other industries and infrastructure cost or value changes. Labor and health impacts refer to gambling-related changes in work-related outcomes, such as absenteeism, reduction in performance or productivity, job gains and losses, and health and well-being.

Mood disorders like depression and anxiety can lead to gambling problems and are made worse by compulsive gambling. Getting treatment for these underlying issues is a good first step to recovery. You can also seek help from a counselor, find an addiction specialist or join a support group. A peer support group based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous can be especially helpful, since members share their experiences and offer advice.

There are many things you can do to replace your gambling habit with healthier ones, including exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or learning new skills. You can also try to find healthy ways to cope with unpleasant feelings, such as loneliness or boredom, instead of gambling.