The Impact of Gambling


Gambling involves placing something of value on an event that is largely unpredictable, and the goal is to win a prize. It has been practiced by people throughout the world since prerecorded history, and it is a common form of entertainment. It can be done with money or other items of value, such as collectible game pieces (for example, marbles, Pogs, or Magic: The Gathering cards).

Regulatory bodies ensure the safety of modern casinos by implementing strict guidelines and protocols that minimize harmful gambling behaviour. However, many factors make some people more likely to develop problematic gambling behaviour. These include:

Problem gambling has been found to be more prevalent among certain groups, including young people, men and lower income people. This is due to the fact that these individuals may have more to lose with a large win, and they are often less prepared to deal with this.

The impact of gambling can be viewed on three different levels: personal, interpersonal and society/community. Individual impacts induce effects on a personal level to gamblers themselves, while external impacts influence the interpersonal and society/community levels and concern other people. For example, the financial consequences of problem gambling can lead to debt and bankruptcy, which affects family members and others in the community. At the same time, gambling can create economic benefits by generating taxes that are partly used to pay for beneficial social services. These tax revenues also contribute to employment and economic development.