Gambling involves placing a value on an event and then betting on it, with the chance of winning or losing. This could be placing a bet on a football team to win a match, or buying a scratchcard and hoping to get a certain amount of money if you win. Some people find gambling to be relaxing, but it can also be addictive and a source of stress for individuals who struggle with mental health issues.

It can lead to financial difficulties, which may cause problems for those in close relationships with gamblers and their family members. It can also affect work and education, as well as socialising with friends. Some studies have found that excessive gambling can lead to a number of negative effects, including depression and anxiety. It can also exacerbate other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Personal and interpersonal level costs are mostly non-monetary, but can be monetary at the society/community level, with general costs, costs related to problem gambling and long-term cost/benefits. Society/community level benefits are primarily social and recreational in nature, such as providing entertainment, bringing people together and encouraging civic engagement.

For some, gambling is a way to self-soothe unpleasant feelings or relieve boredom, such as after a stressful day at work or after an argument with their spouse. However, there are healthier and more effective ways of coping with these emotions, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.