Gambling involves wagering something of value (money, property or other assets) on an event with a random or uncertain outcome. It also includes activities that rely on skill, such as sports betting and playing card games. Governments often regulate gambling to generate revenue and reduce criminal activity.

Problem gambling can negatively impact your physical and mental health, relationships, work or school performance, finances and/or social life. It is important to recognize that you may have a problem with gambling and seek help.

Over half of the UK population takes part in some form of gambling activity. For many people, this can be a fun and enjoyable pastime, but for others it can be addictive. For those with a gambling problem, it can harm their physical and mental health, lead to serious debt and even homelessness. It can also cause problems for family, friends and work colleagues.

Many people turn to gambling as a way to self-soothe unpleasant feelings, relieve boredom or stress or to make themselves feel better after a difficult day. However, there are healthier and more effective ways to cope with these emotions. For example, you could try exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or trying new hobbies. You can also seek professional support to overcome gambling problems through therapy. BetterHelp is an online service that matches you with accredited therapists who can help you overcome problems related to gambling. Get started today and receive a personalised treatment plan in as little as 48 hours.