The Positive and Negative Impacts of Gambling


Gambling is a form of betting or staking something of value, with awareness of risk and hope of gain, on an event of chance. The outcome may be determined by randomness or by a person’s skill. There are both positive and negative impacts of gambling. These impacts occur on personal, interpersonal and society/community levels (Fig. 1).

Positive impacts of gambling include the revenue generated by casinos and other gaming establishments, which helps stimulate economies, especially in smaller communities. It is also a source of leisure activities for many people, particularly in the developed world. In addition, organized lottery games and sports pools are common in most countries around the globe. In fact, the global turnover from these activities is estimated to be more than $10 trillion.

Negative impacts of gambling may result from a person’s addiction or compulsive behavior, which can cause financial ruin and strained relationships with family and friends. These effects are most prevalent among low socioeconomic groups. It is also believed that gamblers may suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

The first step to overcoming gambling addiction is realizing that you have a problem. It can be a difficult process, especially if you have lost a lot of money and strained or ruined relationships in the past. To help you on your journey to recovery, BetterHelp offers free online therapy services that will match you with a qualified therapist in as little as 48 hours.