Gambling is the act of wagering something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome. Regardless of whether the gambler wins or loses, gambling can be a fun and exciting pastime if done responsibly. However, if someone has a problem with gambling and it’s impacting their life negatively, there are many options for help.

In addition to a potential financial boost, gambling also brings other benefits such as social interaction and the chance to learn new skills. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment when a player is successful. Moreover, it stimulates the release of the feel-good hormone dopamine in the brain, which can improve mood and reduce stress.

While the majority of studies have focused on negative effects, such as problem gambling and financial difficulties, a few studies have attempted to assess positive impacts of gambling from a public health perspective. To do this, they use a measure of quality of life known as disability weights. These measures are a good tool for discovering intangible social costs associated with gambling and can be used to inform public health policy.

Although there are some who gamble for a living, either dishonestly or ethically, the vast majority of people gamble occasionally and do not have a gambling problem. The key is to budget gambling as an expense, and to stick to your bankroll. If you have a problem with gambling and it’s affecting your life, speak to one of our counsellors. They are available 24/7, free and confidential.