Gambling is the placing of a bet, with conscious risk and hope of gain, on an event whose outcome is uncertain. Although gambling is a popular recreational activity in some countries, it is also a serious problem that can cause severe personal and financial harm.

People gamble for a variety of reasons, including the desire to win money, to relieve boredom or stress, and to socialize with friends. Many people who have a gambling disorder find it difficult to control their gambling and may not be aware of the extent of their problem. They often hide their behavior from family members and friends. Depending on the severity of their addiction, people with gambling disorders may benefit from family therapy or other types of psychotherapy. They may also find support from groups such as Gamblers Anonymous.

In the past, researchers, psychiatrists, and other treatment care providers have framed issues about gambling differently, depending on their disciplinary training, specialties, and world views. As a result, the nomenclature used to describe gambling-related behaviors has been inconsistent and confusing. This article aims to clarify the differences in perspectives and terms.