The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling


Whether playing the pokies, betting on sports events or buying a lottery ticket, gambling involves risking something of value (money, property or other items) in an attempt to predict the outcome of a game of chance. If you are successful, you gain money; if not, you lose it.

Gambling has many negative effects, including damage to family and work life, problems with finances and debt, depression, stress and substance abuse. In addition, the addictive nature of gambling can lead to criminal activity such as stealing or fraud. It can also cause serious health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure and even death. Problem gambling can occur in people from all walks of life and it can affect everyone in a family, regardless of their age or financial status.

Unlike the economic impacts of gambling, the social impacts are difficult to measure and therefore have received less attention in studies. Interpersonal and community/societal level costs are generally non-monetary but can have significant externalities, such as emotional distress to gamblers and their families, and may result in increased social tensions and strained relationships. There are many ways to combat a gambling problem and there are plenty of resources available. For example, counseling services can help you learn healthy coping skills and rebalance your life. They can help you set boundaries with your loved one and develop a plan to manage finances. They can also teach you about the warning signs and symptoms of gambling addiction.