Gambling is a game that involves betting something of value on an event that is random. It can be anything from a sports match to a scratchcard. The gambler hopes to win a prize and gain some money.

Understanding gambling helps you to protect yourself against the risks of gambling and to prevent gambling problems from developing.

A person can have a gambling problem in any age group, gender or social setting. Compulsive gambling is more common in men than women, and it may start early or later in life. It is also more common in people who have a family or friend history of gambling problems.

The most important thing to do is to recognise that you have a problem and to seek help. You can get support from family and friends, counselling or addiction services.

In the past, we viewed people who had problems with gambling as gamblers. In the past few decades, however, we have started to think about gambling as a disorder, with symptoms like loss of control and chasing losses.

This has resulted in an evolution of the clinical classification and description of pathological gambling, which reflects this change. In the DSM-5, gambling disorder has been placed in a new category on behavioral addictions, which is reflective of research findings that have shown the clinical expression, brain origin, comorbidity and treatment of gambling disorders to be similar to that of substance-related disorders.

When you have a gambling problem, it can be very hard to stop. It can be a tough and stressful process, but there are resources available to help you.