Gambling is the risking of something of value (such as money) in exchange for the chance to win something else of value, usually a prize. It is the most common form of recreation in many countries, and it can take place in a variety of settings, from casinos to sporting events, even at home via online betting sites.

Compulsive gambling can have devastating effects on a person’s life, including harming physical and mental health, straining relationships, creating debt, and causing work or school performance to suffer. It can also cause people to become secretive about their gambling activities and to lie about their behavior, in some cases leading them to even steal or commit fraud to fund their addiction.

A person can control their gambling by avoiding places where it is likely to happen. They can also limit the amount of money they can bet by removing credit cards, making someone else in charge of managing their finances, closing online betting accounts, and only carrying a small amount of cash. They can also try to replace the urge to gamble by doing other enjoyable things, such as taking a walk or going shopping.

Getting help for a gambling problem takes a lot of courage, especially when it has caused financial loss and strained relationships. There is no cure for a gambling disorder, but it can be treated with therapy. BetterHelp can match you with a licensed therapist who specializes in depression, stress, relationships, and other issues that can be triggers for gambling disorders.