An individual is gambling if he or she takes the chance to lose money or property and mostly by chance where winning or losing is determined. Gambling has developed at an unprecedented rate in Canada over the past decade and is becoming an increasingly popular recreational activity.
Although gambling was once illegal, or considered an unreputable practice, social norms have changed. Gambling is now a multi-billion dollar business in Canada, and will undoubtedly continue to grow. Surveys show that through the funds raised by casinos, the general population supports funding hospitals, health care, and other essential programs.
While some might find gambling only to be synonymous with casinos and racetracks, there are countless gambling practices.
There are a lot of different ways to play including:
- Lottery tickets
- Slot machines
- Betting on mah-jong, card games, or dominoes
- Betting on games that requires skill, such as pool or tennis
- Casino games (for example, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Sic Bo, Baccarat, Pai Gow Three Card Poker, Casino War)
- Betting on horse racing
- Other sports betting
- Scratch, or pull-tab tickets
- Tombola and similar games
- Online casino gambling
There are different reasons why gamblers choose to play. Individuals can be gambling for gaining money, socializing, exciting or passing time.
Gambling can become a major problem for some people which affects all aspects of their lives. When gambling becomes more available, so too does the number of people affected by problem gambling.