Many mental health professionals have created criteria to diagnose problem gambling. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists Gambling Disorder among other addictive behaviors. A person suffering from Gambling Disorder has repeatedly failed to control his or her impulses to gamble. A person who suffers from this problem may seek treatment or be evaluated by a mental health professional. In either case, a Gambler has reached a critical point of compulsive gambling.
Worldwide, gambling is estimated to amount to $10 trillion annually. Some researchers believe that the illegal gambling market is even higher. Lotteries are the most common form of gambling. In the United States, state-licensed lotteries grew rapidly in the late 20th century. Football pools are organized in nearly all European countries and some South American and Asian nations. Most countries also offer state-licensed wagering on other sporting events. While this is a form of gambling that is popular in many countries, the legal market for this activity remains relatively small.
Although gambling is considered a lucrative industry, it is still a major source of income. Legal betting markets reached $335 billion in 2009, and the global gambling market was estimated to reach $1.2 trillion in 2008. While many people do not consider themselves gamblers, the fact that they engage in the activity has made it a profitable activity. While the stakes involved in gambling may be small, their effects can be large and lasting. This is why most individuals with a habit of gambling are unable to live a normal life.