Gambling is when people risk money or something of value to predict the outcome of a game based on chance, like betting on football matches or scratchcards. When they win, they get the money they staked. If they lose, they lose the money. People gamble for fun, for winning big prizes or as a way to make money. Gambling can also be a social activity, where people gamble with friends or strangers.

People can learn skills while gambling, such as learning about odds, statistics and probability. People also improve their mental health when they gamble, because it forces them to pay attention and mentally challenge themselves by thinking strategically in order to win. It can also be a form of entertainment, giving people a reason to feel happy and take their mind off of everyday worries.

Gambling has both negative and positive impacts on individuals, their families, communities and society as a whole. These impacts can be structuralized into classes of financial, labor and health/wellbeing costs and benefits. These impacts occur at personal, interpersonal and societal/community levels and can have different durations. In addition, gambling can have long-term impacts on gamblers.