Gambling involves placing something of value – usually money – on an event where the outcome is determined by chance. This can be anything from a football match to a scratchcard. Whether you win or lose will depend on how much you bet and the odds that are set. The most common form of gambling is betting, but the stock market is also considered a type of gambling, with traders buying and selling shares to try to make a profit. Insurance is also a type of gambling, with people paying premiums in return for the chance to be paid out a sum of money when they die, calculated using actuarial data.

While many people enjoy gambling, for others it can cause harm. It can affect their health, relationships and work or study performance, lead to serious debt and even homelessness. It’s important to seek help if you think you may have a gambling problem.

Often, people who have gambling problems are at risk of depression or other mood disorders. It’s also common for these problems to trigger or make worse gambling problems. The good news is that treatment for depression, anxiety and other mood disorders can help with gambling issues too.

If you’re concerned about someone else’s gambling, reach out to a family support service. They can help you navigate the complex issues and find the best course of action for you and your loved one.