Gambling involves betting on an event where there is a potential for winning something of value. The events may be random or skill-based. Gambling requires three elements: consideration, risk, and a prize. While gambling is often viewed as an individual social pathology, it can also be a viable tool for growth and a growing source of governmental revenue. It can be used to support government programs, aid economic development, and assist deprived groups in developing countries. These different perspectives of gambling have created a need to balance competing interests.
The best way to help someone overcome a gambling addiction is to strengthen their support network. This can be done by reaching out to friends and family, joining a group, taking up a hobby, or finding a peer support program such as Gamblers Anonymous which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also specialized services for those with serious gambling addictions such as inpatient treatment and rehabilitation programs. It is important for anyone who has a problem with gambling to seek out these types of services because a gambling addiction can affect everyone from the person experiencing it to their loved ones and the wider community.