Gambling Impacts



Gambling is the risking of something of value (money, property, etc.) on an uncertain outcome of a game, contest or other event with the intent to win a prize. It varies from lottery tickets and simple bets by people with little money to sophisticated casino gambling by the wealthy, often for profit but sometimes just for fun. It may also be illegal and involve blackmail or organized crime.

Research indicates that some individuals are genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviour and impulsivity. In addition, some communities consider gambling as a normal pastime and this can make it harder to recognize a problem.

Some individuals gamble for the social interaction with friends, family and colleagues; the media promotes gambling as a sociable and glamorous activity. Others feel that gambling provides a distraction from their problems, boredom or stress and can help them escape for just a short time. It is important to note that for some individuals, gambling can become a serious problem and cause significant harm.

Gambling impacts can be structuralized using a model that defines costs and benefits. Costs are categorized into three classes: financial, labor and health and well-being. These effects manifest on a personal, interpersonal and community/societal levels. Financial impacts include the economic gains of the gambling industry as well as taxes paid by gamblers. Labor impacts include the effects that gambling has on work performance, absenteeism and job losses or gains. Health and well-being impacts are related to the negative psychological, physical and social consequences of gambling.