The Social Impact of Gambling

Gambling is a fun and exciting activity that can provide people with a great deal of entertainment. The thrill and suspense of betting on a favourite team can stimulate the brain and increase happiness levels in humans. It can also help to improve cognitive abilities as it involves strategic thinking and decision-making. However, it is important to remember that gambling can be addictive and lead to financial problems. If you are concerned about your gambling habits, speak to StepChange for free debt advice.

Gambling has many social impacts and can contribute to community cohesion, personal well-being and a sense of belonging. However, these positive impacts have received less attention in studies. This is likely because they are difficult to quantify and often overlooked in favour of financial impacts which are easier to measure. This article reviews the various methods used to assess community/society level impacts, using a framework proposed by Walker and Williams.

Compulsive gambling can have a negative effect on the family, as individuals will frequently spend money that they do not have, leading to debt and strained relationships. This can be particularly damaging if they have coexisting mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. Individuals suffering from these conditions are at greater risk of harmful gambling behaviours, as they may use it to self-medicate or escape their feelings. They may also be more likely to attempt to recoup their losses by sourcing funds through credit cards, loans or illegal activities.