Gambling involves risking something of value (money or materials) on an uncertain outcome, such as the roll of a dice or the result of a horse race. It can occur in casinos, on the Internet and at other places like gas stations or church halls. It is often associated with winning money or other valuables but it can also involve losing things that you value, such as relationships. Many governments have laws and regulations defining what constitutes gambling in order to protect consumers, maintain fairness and prevent exploitation.

The impacts of gambling can be seen at the individual, interpersonal and community/society levels. Individual impacts induce effects on gamblers themselves, while external impacts influence people other than gamblers: for example, the impact of increased debt and financial strain can have a negative effect on family members’ lives. Moreover, the impact of gambling on the community and society can have lasting effects that affect future generations.

There are many ways to deal with problem gambling, from addressing mental health issues to learning healthier coping mechanisms. Consider talking to a trusted friend or relative about your problems. Joining a support group for gamblers such as Gamblers Anonymous can help. You can also get professional help by seeking psychotherapy. There are several types of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy. These therapies aim to help you change unhealthy emotions and behaviors. You can find a therapist by visiting your local NHS trust or searching for one on the Internet.