There are three common types of gambler, the professional gambler, the social gambler, and the problem gambler. Be aware that the problem gambler will often believe themselves to be, or pretend to be, a social or professional gambler.
Professional gamblers are the rarest form of gambler, and depend on games of skills rather than luck to make money. They have full control over the time, money and energy they spend on gambling.
Social gamblers consider gambling to be a valid form of recreational activity, and maintain full control over the time, money and energy they expend on gambling. They consider the cost of gambling to be payment for entertainment.
Problem gambling involves the continued involvement in gambling activities, despite negative consequences. All gambling addicts are problem gamblers, although not all problem gamblers have a gambling addiction.
Davis Consulting for The British Columbia Problem Gambling Program. "Problem Gambling Training Manual: Level 1" Vancouver, BC. 2001.