Definition of Gambling

When using the term gambling, we generally mean specific types of games, which meet three criteria:

  • The player bets money or valuable objects
  • The loss cannot be regained
  • The game relies primarily on chance

The game, therefore, offers a potential cash gain and requires a stake from the participants.

The most popular types of gambling within French-speaking countries are:

  • Slot machines and gaming tables (roulette, black-jack, poker, etc.) within casinos
  • Lotteries and betting on sporting events (lotteries with using numbers, scratch cards, electronic lottery terminals, betting on horse races, etc.)
  • Gambling via the Internet (poker, casinos, betting on sporting events, etc.)
  • Illegal gambling

It is important to differentiate between gambling and games of skill. For gambling, it is difficult or impossible to influence the outcome using skills or experience. Thus, the consequences depend solely or mostly upon chance. Within games of skill (for example billiards or darts), the ability and experience of the player clearly influence their success.

bandeau bottom CJE - Centre du jeu excessif UNIGE - Université de Genève IMSP - Institut de Médecine Sociale et Préventive CHUV - Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois

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