The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling

Gambling involves placing a bet on an outcome, such as the winner of a football match or a scratchcard. The gambler’s choice is matched to ‘odds’, which are set by the betting company, and determine how much money they could win. Although gambling can be a fun pastime, there are some risks involved. These can include losing control, being addicted, or even becoming homeless. In addition, gambling can affect your health and wellbeing, and impact those around you, including family, friends and work colleagues.

Problem gambling is a complex issue. It can affect people from every background, age and ethnicity. It can occur in cities and small towns, amongst wealthy and poor people. It can be a source of income, or a way to escape problems and worries.

The chances of winning a casino game depend on luck and skill, so it’s important to play responsibly and only with disposable income. Never use money that you’re saving for bills or rent to place bets. You should also stop playing if you’re tired or distracted, and take regular breaks. Never chase your losses – this is the “gambler’s fallacy,” where you believe that you’re due for a win and will recoup your lost money if you keep playing.

Many studies have focused on the economic impacts of gambling, but personal and interpersonal costs are often ignored. Social impacts are more difficult to measure because they are non-monetary. It is argued that they should be included in calculations as part of the ‘costs and benefits’ of gambling, as defined by Walker and Williams [32]. This would allow for a more holistic view of the impacts on individuals, families, communities and society at large.