Gambling is a game of chance or skill in which a person stakes something valuable for the chance to win a prize. It includes many different types of games, such as poker, lotteries and sports betting.
Depending on how it is played, gambling can be good for socializing, mental development and skill improvement. However, it can also be harmful to physical health and relationships. It can also get you into trouble with the law and leave you in debt or unable to live on your own.
In addition, people who have a problem with gambling can often be depressed or anxious. They may also have thoughts of suicide.
Understanding how to recognise a gambling problem is important. Several organisations offer support and assistance for gamblers, their families and friends.
A key part of a gambling problem is that it can be addictive and hard to stop. If you feel you’re struggling to control your gambling, it’s worth speaking to a specialist for free, confidential help.
The impact of gambling on the community can be assessed through various approaches, including economic cost-benefit analysis and social impacts. Generally, economic costing approaches focus on the negative side of gambling, whereas social impacts are considered as costs or benefits that are nonmonetary in nature.
In a public health approach, gambling impacts are assessed across the whole severity spectrum of the activity, whereas social costs and benefits are evaluated on the individual and interpersonal levels. The individual and interpersonal level costs and benefits are categorized into three classes: general costs, costs of problem gambling and long-term costs/benefits.