Gambling and the Health and Wellbeing of Others

Apr 2, 2024 Gambling

Gambling is an activity in which money or material goods are staked on a random event with the aim of winning something else. In most cases there is a degree of strategy, but the element of chance remains key to gambling. The roll of a dice, the spin of a roulette wheel, or the outcome of a horse race are all examples of a gamble.

While some people can enjoy gambling, it can be harmful to the health and wellbeing of others. Problem gambling can impact on personal relationships, work and study performance, and cause financial hardship. It can also have a negative effect on mental health, lead to family breakdown and result in criminal behaviour.

Our research suggests that there are many factors that may contribute to a person’s susceptibility to problem gambling. Traditional theories attribute pathological gambling to psychological factors such as low IQ, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Our findings are consistent with these theories and show that there are other personal, family and societal factors that may make someone more likely to gamble. These include a lack of discipline or schooling, exposure to gambling, and being exposed to traumatic events as a child. We also found that those who regularly gambled were more likely to have high external locus of control, which is a feeling that you have little control over your life.