Gambling involves placing something of value on a random event, like a game of chance or a sporting event, with the intent of winning another item of value, where instances of strategy are discounted. In order for gambling to take place, three elements must be present: consideration, risk, and a prize. People gamble for a variety of reasons, including to relieve boredom or stress, to socialize with friends, and to experience the rush of adrenaline that comes from the chance of a big win.

There are many ways to overcome a gambling problem, including seeking counseling, attending self-help groups for families such as Gam-Anon, and finding healthy activities to fill your time. You can also reduce your urges by taking control of your money: get rid of credit cards, have someone else manage your finances, and keep a low balance in your bank accounts. You can also avoid temptation by staying away from casinos and other gaming facilities, and limiting your use of online gambling sites.

Pathological gambling is an addictive disorder that can be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy. It can help you recognize irrational beliefs that feed into your gambling addiction, and teach you how to resist these thoughts. This technique can also be used to address other issues that may be contributing to your gambling problems, such as depression or anxiety. The most important step is to realize that you have a problem, and find a counselor who can help you develop a plan for recovery.