The Social Impacts of Gambling

Gambling involves risking something of value on an event whose outcome is determined by chance with the hope of winning something else of value. In addition to money, some people gamble with goods, services, or property. It can happen anywhere, such as at casinos, racetracks, and even on the internet. Gambling can be a form of recreation, or it can lead to serious problems.

The negative impacts of gambling can be felt by the gambler and their significant others, as well as the community/society as a whole. The majority of gambling research has focused on economic costs and benefits, which are relatively easy to measure in dollar terms. Social impacts, on the other hand, are less easily quantified and have been largely ignored. Ideally, studies should consider both types of impacts.

Research shows that gambling can affect a person’s work performance. For example, in one study, concerned significant others (CSOs) reported that people with gambling disorders lost more work days and had longer absences from their jobs than those without the disorder. In addition, gambling disorders can increase the likelihood of unemployment and can decrease income levels [17].

Taking up a hobby or spending time with friends who don’t gamble may help people find healthy ways to relieve unpleasant feelings. Counseling can also provide support and help people understand their problem gambling behaviors. Treatment options for gambling disorder include individual counseling, group therapy, and family therapy. In some cases, medications may be prescribed.