Gambling is the betting of something of value, including money or something else valuable, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event. People who gamble do so because they believe they can win, or at least make more than they lose. Gambling is a form of entertainment that involves a high level of risk, and it can have serious consequences.

Many people enjoy gambling on occasion, and it can be a fun way to socialise with friends. However, some people are more prone to developing gambling disorders than others. A person’s family and friends may be able to help them, but only they can decide to stop gambling. Counselling can be helpful, and there are also group therapies and residential rehab programs available for those with severe gambling disorders.

It is difficult for loved ones of people with gambling problems to understand why they continue to gamble despite the harm it causes them and their families. In some cases, the problem gambler will deny their addiction or downplay it. They might even lie to their family about their gambling habits.

The biggest step towards recovery from gambling disorder is admitting that you have a problem. You can seek treatment through psychotherapy, which includes psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy to improve self-awareness. You can also join a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and helps you to rebuild your life without gambling.