The Social Impacts of Gambling


Gambling involves wagering something of value on a random event with the intention of winning something else of value. In some cases, the wagers involve real money, but more often they involve materials that have a value such as marbles or game pieces. The value of the stakes is determined by a number of factors such as the likelihood of winning and how much the player stands to win if they do win. Gambling is a popular recreational activity and a global industry. It can be a fun group activity, especially for those who play casino games with friends or family members. It can also be used as a teaching tool, as it provides an excellent example of the principles of probability and statistics.

While it can be beneficial to gamble with money you can afford to lose, some people develop a gambling problem that leads to financial ruin and other problems. When this happens, it can affect the gambler and his or her significant others as well as other members of society. Fortunately, many organisations provide support, assistance and counselling to help people overcome their addictions.

The social impacts of gambling can be structuralized into costs and benefits using a model that divides impacts into personal, interpersonal, and societal/community levels. At the personal level, effects are experienced by gamblers themselves; at the interpersonal level, they affect people who interact with gamblers such as relatives and friends; and at the societal/community level, they influence the community through increased gambling revenues.