The Impacts of Gambling on Personal, Interpersonal and Community Levels


Gambling involves wagering something of value on a random event with the intent to win something else of value. This may be money or other goods or services. Some forms of gambling are played in brick-and-mortar casinos or online, such as casino games (e.g. slot machines, roulette, blackjack, and poker), sports betting, or lotteries. The outcome of the gamble can be anything from a small amount of money to a life-changing jackpot. Several factors influence people’s decision to gamble, including social interactions, the desire to achieve a desired level of success, and the psychological satisfaction resulting from winning.

Some people find that gambling relieves boredom or provides a way to socialize with friends. Others may use it to alleviate unpleasant feelings such as anxiety or depression. The bright lights and sounds of casino gambling provide a form of escapism, and can make everyday worries fade away for a time. Regardless of the reason, it is important to understand that there are other, healthier ways to relieve boredom or unpleasant emotions than gambling.

Moreover, some studies suggest that gambling can boost local economies by attracting tourists and creating jobs. However, this assertion is contested by opponents who argue that restrictions actually divert tax revenue to illegal gambling operations or other regions where the practice is legal.

The impacts of gambling on personal, interpersonal and community/society levels vary according to the type of gambling and the severity of the problem. For example, a person who spends too much on gambling and runs up debts influences his or her family’s financial situation and society by creating costs (e.g., social care costs).