Gambling is the act of placing something of value, usually money, on an event with an element of chance and a potential for winning a larger sum. It has existed in virtually every society since prerecorded history and is often a part of local customs, traditions, and rites of passage. Some people gamble responsibly and find it an entertaining diversion; others overindulge, and may end up in debts that impair their ability to support themselves or their families. Whether governments prohibit gambling, or not, most people can control their gambling behavior by setting limits and sticking to them.

When a person gambles, their brain releases dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter. This produces a similar neurological response as the effects of drugs like cocaine, and can cause problems in those who are addicted to gambling. Many casinos, even in the United States, have strict rules and regulations to keep their patrons safe from gambling addiction.

Those who suffer from gambling disorder are not alone; there are numerous organisations that offer help and assistance for those affected. This includes counselling and support groups, which can be beneficial to those suffering from gambling disorders. It is also recommended to find activities that can occupy your time other than gambling, such as exercise and socialising with friends. Family therapy and marriage, career and credit counselling are also available. This can help you address specific problems caused by your gambling and repair damaged relationships and finances.