The Impacts of Gambling


Gambling involves placing something of value (typically money) at risk on an event with an element of chance in the outcome. There are a variety of ways in which gamblers can bet, including horse races, sports events, games of chance like lottery tickets or bingo, slot machines, dice, cards, and more. While gambling can provide a good time and offer a rush when things go your way, it can also cause harm to individuals, families, workplaces and communities.

People gamble for a variety of reasons, from the adrenaline rush to the socialisation or as an escape from stress and worries. However, for many it can be a problem and lead to addiction. If you think your gambling is out of control, seek help. You can find details of where to get help at the bottom of this page.

The negative impacts of gambling can be structured into three classes – benefits, costs and harms. Benefits are monetary and include gambling revenues and economic impact on other industries. Costs are non-monetary and include invisible individual costs, the cost of gambling problems and long-term gambling harms. Society/community level external costs are monetary and include general impacts, the cost of gambling problems and impacts on other industries.

Some social impacts of gambling include reduced family and friend interactions, lack of community spirit, increased property prices, higher living expenses and loss of employment opportunities for local businesses [32]. Some religious groups oppose gambling on the grounds that it is against Christianity teachings. Moreover, some gamblers may develop bad habits and spend more than they can afford, leading to debts that can be difficult to pay back.