Gambling is the act of betting money or other goods on a chance event. For example, you might bet on whether the basketball team will win a game or on the outcome of a football match. Choosing what to bet on depends on your personal preferences and the odds. If you win, you’ll get a prize. However, if you don’t, you’ll lose money. It’s a risky activity, but it can be fun.

The problem with gambling is that it can affect your mental and physical health. It can harm your relationships, your job, and even cause you to lose your home. In fact, Public Health England estimates that 400 people commit suicide every year. Despite the fact that it is legal in most countries, it is estimated that illegal gambling amounts to more than $10 trillion.

Fortunately, there are a number of organisations that offer support for people with gambling problems. They can provide counselling and help you to stop gambling. One of these is Gamblers Anonymous, patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. These organisations use peer-support to help gamblers recover.

Aside from supporting the person who has a gambling problem, these organisations can also help their family members. If you have a problem with gambling, make sure you have a good support network of friends and family.

You can start with your own friends. If you are worried about a friend, it is best to contact him or her and ask for help. Another option is to join a self-help group. There are several self-help groups on the Internet. Some of them have free memberships.

Another way to help yourself is to exercise. This will relieve your boredom and help you to relax. Also, if you are experiencing depression or anxiety, you can participate in a mental health program that helps you to cope with negative emotions. Taking part in a support group can give you the opportunity to meet new people.

Another important thing to remember is that you should only gamble if you have the funds to do so. Keeping your credit cards and checking account open can leave you vulnerable to temptation. Avoid using a debit card as this can result in overdraft fees. Once you feel that you have the means to stop, close your online betting accounts.

You can help prevent a gambling disorder by knowing how to recognize the signs. Symptoms of a problem gambling disorder can start as early as adolescence, but they can continue to occur throughout adulthood.

You should also learn about the effects of gambling. Problem gambling has been linked to depression, anxiety, and high suicidal ideation. Other symptoms include loss of control, a preoccupation with losses, and a tendency to hide your behavior.

To help you get started, you can visit the Responsible Gambling Council’s website. From there, you can access self-help sections, and also find resources for counselling. Additionally, you can find out about NIDA grants to promote safer gambling.