Gambling involves risking something of value on an event that relies on chance – such as a football match, a scratchcard or a spin of the roulette wheel. The goal is to win something else of value, such as money or goods. There are legal regulations around gambling, and it is a popular activity worldwide. Some people enjoy it for the excitement, but others can become addicted to it.

A number of different types of therapy can help people deal with their gambling disorder. Counseling can teach people how to recognise the signs that their gambling is out of control and develop coping mechanisms. It can also help them consider how their gambling affects other areas of their life – such as relationships, work or mental health. Medications can help treat co-occurring conditions that can trigger gambling disorders, such as depression or anxiety.

People who gamble often start by thinking they can win back their losses if they keep playing. This is called the gambler’s fallacy, and it’s important to remember that losing will always be more likely than winning. If you’re worried about someone you know, you can try talking to them about their gambling and ask them for help.

There are a number of ways that people can get help with their gambling problem, including support groups and counselling. The main thing is to find a way to stop gambling, whether that’s by seeking treatment or cutting down the amount they gamble. People who have a gambling problem can also benefit from family therapy, which can help them learn how to communicate better with each other and set boundaries in their relationship.

Some people are prone to developing an addiction to gambling due to genetics or other personal traits. It can also be triggered by certain situations, such as stress or the loss of a loved one. Other factors, such as social pressure and access to gambling facilities, can contribute to an individual’s likelihood of becoming a gambler.

While many people gamble responsibly and enjoy it for the socialising and skill development it offers, a significant percentage of people struggle with compulsive gambling. They may even end up with debts that prevent them from sustaining a healthy lifestyle and caring for their families. In 2013, pathological gambling was recognised as a mental illness and added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) alongside other addictive behaviours like substance abuse and eating disorders.

There are a number of treatments for gambling problems, but the most effective is usually cognitive behavioural therapy. This will look at a person’s beliefs about gambling, such as the belief that they are more likely to win than they really are or the idea that rituals can bring luck. Other therapies that can be used include psychodynamic therapy, which focuses on unconscious processes, and group therapy. Psychotherapy can help people develop a healthier relationship with gambling and manage their finances and credit.