Gambling Impacts

Gambling is an activity that involves wagering something of value on an uncertain event with awareness of the risk of losing it. This can range from betting a few pounds on the outcome of a football game or scratchcard purchased in the local shops to high stakes gambling at casinos and online. It has both negative and positive impacts, affecting the gambler, his/her family, friends and society at large. These can be financial, labour and health/wellbeing-related or social. Gambling impacts can be observed on personal, interpersonal and community/society levels (Fig. 1). The term “social impact” refers to costs or benefits that affect more than one person.

Some people are more susceptible to the negative effects of gambling than others. These include those who are depressed, grieving or have poor mental health, as well as those who have a low level of social support and skills to cope with life’s problems. It is also believed that the brain matures at around age 25, and that people of this age are more likely to develop bad habits, especially when it comes to gambling.

For some people, gambling can provide a sense of excitement and thrill when they win. It can also be a way to socialize with friends and family, or to relax and be surrounded by a different environment. However, the reality is that most of the time, gamblers don’t win and lose lots of money.

Problem gambling is an addiction that can have a devastating impact on a person’s health and wellbeing, their relationships, work or study performance, and it can lead to serious debt and even homelessness. It can also lead to feelings of shame and guilt. It is estimated that around half of those who engage in gambling have some form of gambling problem.

There are a number of ways to address the issue of problem gambling, including family therapy, self-help books and self-assessment tools. It’s important to recognise that your loved one didn’t choose to gamble and may have had good reasons for doing so, such as to forget their worries, to improve their self-confidence or because they were bored.

Families are often left feeling helpless and frustrated when a loved one has an addiction to gambling. They may feel like they are not being listened to when they try to discuss their concerns with the gambler, and this can lead to frustration and anger. It is important to remember that you are not alone and there are many families who have experienced this issue. You can find help and support by contacting the gambling support services in your area. There are also support groups for problem gamblers and their families. You can also find information about how to manage finances in a family when someone has a gambling problem. This can help you set limits and ensure that your own credit and bank accounts are not at risk. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to protect your own finances and your relationship with your loved ones.