Some common reasons people gamble are:

To Win Money

There is an opportunity to come out  "ahead of the game".  The gambler sees the possibility of entertainment at no cost and with the potential profit.  The dream of the "big win" is a motivation.  Financial difficulties can encourgage people to gamble in the hope of winning money.

For Recreation

The shared experience with other gamblers, the language specific to the game of choice, and the sense of belonging to a distinct group of individuals are all factors that contribute to the social aspect of gambling.

To Support Charity

For some gamblers, the opportunity to be entertained while supporting a worthy cause is an incentive to participate.

To Escape Problems

Gambling may be an escape from problems, depression or negative feelings.  Some people gamble out of boredom and loneliness.

Mood Alteration

Gambling in its benign form provides stimulation and excitement.  The action and excitement of gambling can be used as a form of escapism.  Gamblers may experience a "high" while playing, similar to the high brought about by drugs or alcohol.  This emotional experience, combined with "feeling lucky" or the belief that it is "their turn" to win, can create in some individuals a desire and a need to gamble.

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