Whether you are buying a lotto ticket, placing a bet on the horses, or using the pokies, gambling involves wagering something of value (typically money) on an event that is subject to chance and has a potential prize. The prize could be anything from a small amount of money to a life-changing jackpot.
Gambling has impacts at the personal, interpersonal and community/society levels that are observable over time. The impact can also be measured in terms of the economic costs and benefits. Financial impacts can include gambling revenues, effects on other industries and infrastructure cost or value changes. Labor impacts can be observed in the form of job loss, gain and absenteeism/presenteeism. Health and well-being impacts can be observed in the form of stress, depression, and addiction.
Methodological challenges exist for the identification of these types of impacts and their measurement. These issues are most pronounced in the case of problem gambling, where impacts can be severe and measurable on multiple levels. Problem gambling impacts can result in a loss of family income, increase in debt, and an escalated state of poverty that can create social care costs.
For those who are struggling with gambling, there are several ways to help break the habit and regain control of their finances. A good place to start is to work on reestablishing and strengthening a supportive network. It’s also a good idea to seek out professional support, such as family therapy or marriage, career and credit counselling.