Impacts of Gambling

May 3, 2024 Gambling


Gambling is an activity in which a person bets on something with the potential to win money. It can involve placing a bet on a sporting event, game of chance, or even just scratching an instant lottery ticket. In some cases gambling can be a harmless pastime, but it can also cause problems and lead to debt and mental illness. It can also damage relationships and work performance. In some cases, it can even result in suicide. Problem gamblers can be found in every society and they can have an impact on their families, friends and workplace.

The misperception that gambling is a low risk, high reward entertainment choice is problematic because the odds are always against the gambler. This is why pathological gambling was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Problematic gamblers can experience dramatic alterations in the way their brain sends chemical signals, causing them to lose control. Humans like to feel in control and the frustration of how unpredictable gambling is can encourage people to try to gain a little control over it, such as throwing dice a certain way or wearing a lucky item of clothing.

There is a need for a common nomenclature of impacts because research scientists, psychiatrists, other treatment care clinicians, and public policy makers frame the discussion of gambling in different ways, depending on their disciplinary training, world view, or special interests. This can lead to inconsistent and incongruent results. In addition, social impacts are difficult to quantify because they are largely non-monetary. However, they can be structuralized using a model that includes the classes of financial, labor and health, and well-being impacts that manifest on personal, interpersonal and society/community levels.