Gambling is the activity of risking something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome, such as a roll of dice, a spin of the roulette wheel, or a horse race. In some cases, gambling involves betting with money; in other cases, it involves wagering materials with a value other than money (such as marbles or collectible game pieces, such as pogs and Magic: The Gathering). Gambling is usually done for the purpose of winning something, but it may also be conducted for entertainment purposes only.

In most countries, gambling is regulated and may be limited to specific types of games or activities. It can be legal to gamble at casinos and on online gaming sites. People who gamble for money can win large amounts of it, but they can also lose a great deal of it. Gambling is a popular source of entertainment and may lead to feelings of excitement and euphoria. Some people gamble to relieve stress, while others do it for the social rewards or the dream of winning a jackpot.

Gambling can become a problem when it takes over a person’s life and leads to serious financial, family, or health problems. People who have a gambling disorder often feel ashamed of their behavior and try to hide the problem from friends and family. They might also attempt to control the problem by limiting their spending, hiding winnings, or lying about how much they are gambling. Some people with gambling disorders are able to stop on their own, while others need help from professionals. Several types of therapy can be effective in treating gambling disorders, including cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy.