What is gambling?

Gambling is defined as risking something of value on an activity or event in which the outcome is uncertain in hopes of winning something of material value. It includes the playing of a game of chance for stakes and has many forms, most commonly horse and dog racetrack betting, off-track betting, lotteries, casino games (slot machines, poker, table games), bingo, bookmaking (betting on sports or special events), internet gambling, and stock market trading. For something to be considered gambling, there are three essential items that must be involved: risk (something of value), uncertainty and goal of winning. 

Gambling for most people is a recreational activity. However, for an estimated 3% to 5% of the general population, gambling becomes an easily “hidden” problem…at least hidden initially. The inability to stop gambling or control impulsive behaviors can be devastating for the problematic and compulsive gamblers and their families.

If you or someone in your life may be a problematic or compulsive gambler, Chestnut Health Systems can help. Available services include:

  • Comprehensive assessment for gambling disorder in a safe environment
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Strengthening levels of functioning to reduce relapse potential
  • Aid in developing a support system to reinforce gains made
  • Support in addressing legal and financial issues