External Impacts of Gambling

Gambling is the act of risking something of value (money, property or possessions) on an event involving chance. The events in question can be anything from betting on a team to win a football match, to buying a scratchcard. The chances of winning are determined by a number of factors, but the most important are the choice of the event to bet on and the amount of money staked. Some forms of gambling require skill or knowledge on the part of the gambler, such as the stock market or paying premiums for life insurance. However, most forms of gambling depend primarily on luck and chance.

The positive aspects of gambling include its ability to offer people the opportunity to experience a sense of excitement and achievement without having to work or study for it. This can help to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety and also increase self-esteem and confidence, particularly for people with mental health problems. It can also be a social activity, providing the opportunity to meet new people and form friendships.

On the negative side, gambling can lead to an increased risk of domestic violence and other forms of interpersonal harm. It can also lead to financial problems, with some people putting themselves in debt and relying on loans or credit cards to fund their gambling habit. This can have significant impacts on the people involved, including their family members and children, who may suffer due to financial stress and the lack of other income sources. It has also been associated with a higher risk of physical intimate partner violence (IPV) and homicide.

Moreover, some studies have shown that gambling can also have an impact on communities and society. For instance, the introduction of casinos can affect small businesses and result in decreased employment opportunities for local residents. In addition, problem gambling can cause psychological and social distress in the community, which can lead to an increase in crime and deprivation. Nonetheless, community/society level external impacts of gambling are less well understood than personal and individual level impacts.

There are three main categories of impacts that can be categorized as costs and benefits of gambling. These are: general, costs related to problem gambling and long-term cost/benefits. Despite the fact that problem gambling causes significant harms to individuals and families, most studies focus on its financial and labor impacts. This means that other impacts that are not reflected in the monetary data, such as health and wellbeing, are often overlooked. These effects can change a person’s life course and even pass between generations [41]. It is therefore crucial to address these impacts in order to ensure that they are taken into account when calculating the costs of gambling.