The Impacts of Gambling

Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event where instances of strategy are discounted. It has a range of negative impacts, including loss of money or assets and damage to relationships, health and well-being, work and family. These impacts are mainly at the personal, interpersonal and community/society/community level, although some also occur at a longer-term or generational level.

Some people are genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviour and impulsivity, or may have brain regions that respond differently to reward information. Others may be under financial pressure or in stressful circumstances, which can trigger gambling problems and make them more difficult to recognize as a problem. They may even be under the misperception that gambling is a low-risk, high-reward entertainment choice.

For some, gambling is a social activity with friends or colleagues, such as playing card games like poker or blackjack at a private setting. Other examples include placing bets on sporting events or horse races with fellow friends and coworkers, as well as putting money into a lottery or raffle. Some individuals also gamble to relieve boredom or stress. Several psychological and behavioral factors may contribute to problematic gambling, including an expectation of an early big win, a lack of self-control, the use of escape coping, depression or a distorted understanding of probability.

Gambling can also have a wide-ranging impact on businesses, especially those that are based in the leisure/amusement or retail sectors. The introduction of gambling has been linked to increases in labour costs, rental rates and operating expenses [45]. Governments must also invest a significant amount of resources in the regulation and administration of the gambling industry, as well as in research, prevention and treatment services [46]. This adds to the financial cost of gambling.