The Impact of Gambling

Gambling is a form of entertainment that involves risking something of value (money) on an outcome based entirely on chance. It is an activity that can be carried out in physical casinos and betting establishments as well as on online gaming platforms.

People gamble for a number of reasons. Some gamble to relax and escape from their everyday worries, while others do it to socialize with friends. In fact, gambling is an excellent way to meet new people as it brings them together in a friendly environment where they can exchange their emotions, build strategies and compete against each other.

Other people are able to control their gambling behaviour and limit their losses, but for some it becomes a problem. Problem gambling can damage a person’s mental health and relationships, affect their work or study performance and leave them in serious debt or even homeless. It can also have a negative impact on the community/society, for example by contributing to the criminal justice system and harming family and other members of society.

Gambling has both personal and external impacts, the latter affecting those not involved in gambling activities. The personal and interpersonal levels include invisible, non-monetary costs that are induced by gambling and have not been taken into account in the calculation of cost/benefits. At the society/community level, the external costs are mostly monetary and include general costs of gambling, costs associated with problem gambling, and long-term costs. These external costs are usually not included in calculations and thus have a biased view of the impact of gambling.