Gambling is risking something of value (usually money) on an event with an uncertain outcome, such as a game of chance or a sporting match. If you win, you receive a reward; if you lose, you incur a loss. Some forms of gambling are more serious than others, and some can lead to addiction. If you have a gambling problem, speak to a counsellor – it’s free, confidential and available 24/7.
The first component of gambling is choosing to gamble, whether it’s making a bet on a football team, buying a scratchcard or visiting a casino. This decision is matched to a set of odds, such as 5/1 or 2/1, which determine how much you can win or lose.
Once you’ve made the decision to gamble, the next step is setting your limit and sticking to it. You can do this by limiting your bank account access, closing online betting accounts and only carrying a certain amount of cash with you when going out to gamble. Also, make sure you’re not using gambling to cover other problems in your life – such as depression, stress and substance abuse.
Many studies have looked at the negative impacts of gambling, but few have focused on the positive social impacts . These include benefits such as helping people with financial difficulties, improving their quality of life and supporting families. They can be measured using a range of metrics, including health-related quality of life weights (HRQL) and disability weights.