Gambling is a popular pastime in most countries, but like any other activity, gambling has positive and negative financial and social impacts. These impacts affect not only gamblers but also their significant others and the society as a whole. In a public health approach, the effects are assessed using a standardized methodology (health-related quality of life weights, or DWs). This method makes it possible to compare the costs and benefits of different gambling policies, in terms of both direct and indirect impacts.
Several studies have observed negative financial consequences of gambling for the gambler and his/her significant others, especially with regard to debt accumulation. However, some studies have found positive labor-related impacts for people working in the gambling industry, such as casino workers, particularly in Macao, where wages have increased with casino liberalization. This is likely due to the high demand for jobs in the gambling sector, particularly for professionals such as poker players, who are a small portion of the gambling population.
If you’re struggling with a gambling problem, it’s important to reach out for support. Talk to someone you trust – this could be a family member, friend or professional counsellor. Also, try to reduce financial risk factors by reducing credit card use and taking out loans. It’s also a good idea to avoid gambling venues if you can, and make sure to balance gambling with other activities and find other ways to socialize. Finally, always keep in mind that you’re more likely to lose than win – it’s called the “gambler’s fallacy.” Don’t chase losses either; chances are that the more money you put into gambling, the larger your losses will be.