The Negative Impacts of Gambling


Gambling involves placing something of value (typically money) at risk on an event with an element of chance, in order to win a larger prize. This can include betting on sports events, games of chance like roulette or slots, instant scratch tickets and more. There are also many different ways that one can gamble, including in casinos, by phone, on the internet, or at home.

While gambling can be a fun pastime, it is important to remember that it is a game of chance and should always be played responsibly. Setting time and money limits before playing can help ensure that gambling is kept in perspective. It is also a good idea to play only with cash and not credit cards.

The negative impacts of gambling can be broken down into personal, interpersonal and societal/community levels. Those at the individual level are invisible to the gambler, but they can affect their family members and their health and well-being. At the interpersonal level, some gamblers use gambling to self-soothe unpleasant emotions, such as boredom or stress. These are called avoidance costs and can lead to other unhealthy behaviours, such as drinking or hiding evidence of gambling activities.

In addition, it is not uncommon for people to lose money while gambling. This can have a significant impact on the gambler’s financial situation and may even threaten their relationships with loved ones. However, there are organisations that can provide support and advice for problem gamblers.