External Impacts of Gambling


Gambling involves placing something of value on a random event in hopes of winning something else of value. It requires three elements: consideration, risk and a prize. While gambling can be fun, it can also cause negative effects on a gambler’s life and those around them. It is important to understand these risks and be able to identify when gambling is harmful.

External impacts of gambling affect people outside the gambler’s immediate family, including the financial, labor, and health effects. In addition, gambling has a tendency to foster negative feelings and an addiction. These feelings can cause problems in work, school and personal relationships. Additionally, it can lead to gambling-related debt and bankruptcy. It can also increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety. Despite these risks, many people continue to gamble.

In addition to the above, there are a number of other factors that can lead to gambling problems. These include mental illness and a lack of social support. The risk of gambling also increases when the individual has a history of substance abuse or other addictive behaviors. Finally, a person’s genetic predisposition and personality traits can contribute to gambling addiction.

There are a variety of different treatment options for gambling disorders. These can include psychotherapy, which can help the patient to become more aware of the unconscious processes that influence their behavior. Other treatments include family therapy and peer-support programs like Gamblers Anonymous. These programs follow a similar format to Alcoholics Anonymous and offer support from other people who have experienced gambling disorder.

Some communities consider gambling a common pastime and may have difficulty recognizing when gambling is a problem. This can make it difficult to get help when needed. Additionally, the cultural values of a community can also influence a gambler’s decision to gamble.

While some individuals are born with a propensity to gamble, others develop the habit through exposure to others who gamble. This is particularly true in families where the parents and other relatives gamble. This may lead to a desire to emulate this behaviour. However, a good strategy for dealing with gambling is to avoid it altogether.

While the positive and negative impacts of gambling have been well-documented in economic literature, much less research has focused on interpersonal and community/society level externalities. This is in part because these impacts are mostly nonmonetary in nature and have been difficult to quantify. Moreover, most of these costs are invisible to the gambler and the gambler’s significant others. In order to address this shortcoming, a public health approach that uses quality-of-life weights (DWs) can be employed to examine the gambling impacts on individual gamblers and their significant others. The DWs can then be compared to gambling revenues to determine the net impact of gambling on society.