Gambling and Its Impacts


Gambling is a popular pastime that has significant impacts for people who participate and their loved ones, as well as for the economy as a whole. These impacts can be categorized into classes: financial, labor and health, and social and well-being.

Despite the fact that gambling is a low-reward entertainment choice, it has been shown to be psychologically and socioeconomically addictive. Pathological gambling is now recognised as a mental disorder, and a behavioural addiction comparable to substance addictions.

Many people gamble for fun and enjoy the thrill of the potential for winning big, but a significant percentage overindulge, incurring debts that impair their ability to support themselves and their families. Some of these people also use gambling to cope with unpleasant feelings like boredom, depression, grief or anxiety. In these cases, it is important to find other ways to relieve these feelings.

It is human nature to want to feel in control – so the frustration of how unpredictable gambling can be can lead a person to attempt to gain some control by throwing the dice in a particular way or by sitting in a specific spot or wearing a lucky item of clothing, in the hope that this will increase their chances of winning. Similarly, some people are attracted to casinos and gambling clubs because they provide a social setting for meeting other people and for enjoying entertainment.

If you have a loved one who is addicted to gambling, seek help from professionals. Family therapy and marriage, career, and credit counseling can address the underlying issues that have led to the gambling addiction, and help you restore your family’s finances and relationships.