Gambling is an activity that involves placing something of value, such as money, on a random event with the intent of winning something else of value. It can be done in a variety of ways, including through gambling machines, online gambling sites, casinos, horse race tracks and other physical venues. The monetary value placed on an event or game, in addition to the intent of winning, determines the odds of that happening. Some games involve a higher degree of skill, such as blackjack and poker, while others are purely chance-based, such as the lottery.
Some people engage in gambling for entertainment and thrill. There is a sense of suspense and delight in betting on your favourite team to win. Other people find it helpful for their mental health as it calms and soothes them. Regardless of the reason, gambling can be addictive and should be avoided for your own wellbeing.
Problem gamblers can have a significant impact on other members of society, particularly family, friends and coworkers. A study found that petty theft from family members and illicit lending by problem gamblers are very common and that 63% of pathological gamblers had experienced either emotional or physical intimate partner violence .
Research on the social impacts of gambling has been limited, largely due to difficulty quantifying the benefits and costs. In addition, studies have tended to focus on economic impacts, which are more easily measured, while neglecting non-economic impacts that may be more difficult to measure.