Gambling involves wagering something of value against a chance to win something else of value. While most people view gambling as a fun activity that can alleviate stress, it is not without risk. If you are gambling regularly, or you think you might have a problem, it is important to learn more about the risks associated with gambling.
Gambling disorder is a psychiatric condition that causes a person to have repetitive and erratic gambling behavior. People with gambling disorder often have thoughts about gambling frequently and experience symptoms such as loss of control and irritability.
People with this disorder may also have problems with friends, family, and society. They may lose jobs and relationships. This condition is more common in men, but it can affect women as well.
Gambling is not illegal in many jurisdictions, but it is heavily regulated. Some jurisdictions have bans on gambling, while others have a strict legal age limit for gambling.
The amount of money that is legally wagered each year is estimated to be about $10 trillion. However, the amount of illegal gambling is much higher. A recent report from the U.S. General Accounting Office showed that there were nearly 10 times more felony gambling convictions in organized professional gambling environments than in non-professional gamblers.
Adolescents may exhibit gambling addiction. These behaviors vary from occasional social gambling to pathological gambling. For example, an adolescent might wager pocket money on video games, or an iPod. Alternatively, an adolescent might miss school or work to gamble.