The Negative Effects of Gambling

Many people enjoy gambling, but for some it becomes problematic. Gambling is betting something of value on an event with an unknown outcome in the hope of winning something else of value. It can range from lottery tickets bought by people with little money to sophisticated casino games played by the wealthy, who may play for profit or just as a pastime.

The negative effects of gambling can include psychological, social and economic costs for the gambler as well as others. These are called ‘intangible’ costs, and they are often overlooked in economic analyses of gambling-related issues. However, recent work has been able to make some intangible costs tangible by converting them into dollar figures.

Gambling is associated with a wide range of social problems including financial problems, debts and family violence. It can also cause health problems and reduce the quality of life. It can lead to depression and suicide, especially in those who are depressed, lonely or grieving. It can also lead to substance abuse problems. For many gamblers it can be a way of escaping from their real lives and escaping from reality. It can also provide them with a sense of excitement and euphoria.

Family members and friends of a problem gambler often absorb the fall out. It is important to educate them about the harm that gambling can do, and how it can affect their own health and relationships. They should encourage their loved ones to seek help at treatment centers and clinics. If your family member or friend has gambling debts, you can suggest they speak to a financial counsellor at a credit management agency to assist with budgeting and negotiating realistic repayment instalments with creditors.