Anyone who’s bought a lottery ticket or played bingo has gambled. Gambling is any game of chance in which money changes hands. It’s common in most cultures around the world. Many people enjoy gambling as recreation without causing harm to themselves or others. Yet some people can’t control their impulse to gamble, even when it takes a terrible toll on their lives.

For these gamblers and their families, researchers have been making progress in several areas. Scientists are learning why people have problems with gambling: how common it is, what goes on inside the gambler’s brain, who is at risk and what kinds of treatment can help.

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