The Positive and Negative Impacts of Gambling

Gambling is when you risk money or something else of value in an attempt to predict the outcome of a game that involves chance, such as scratchcards, fruit machines or betting with friends. If you win, you receive the prize, but if you lose, you forfeit the money or item of value you placed on the line. It is a form of entertainment and can be very addictive.

However, gambling also has many positive impacts, including providing people with an opportunity to make extra income and helping them develop mathematical skills, such as probability and statistics. It can also be a social activity, where friends and families take part in group activities such as casino trips or football accumulators. In addition, gambling is a valuable tool for education, providing real-life examples of maths concepts such as probability and risk management.

The positive and negative impacts of gambling are categorized into three classes: financial, labor and health/wellbeing (Fig. 1). Financial impacts include economic gains from gambling such as revenue to governments and taxes on gamblers, but they can also be losses such as the cost of treatment or lost productivity for gamblers’ family members. Labor and health/wellbeing impacts are more subjective, such as gamblers’ increased stress levels or the impact of their addiction on their relationships with others.

The first step to overcoming gambling is to recognize that you have a problem. Then, you can begin to work on getting help. BetterHelp is an online service that matches you with licensed therapists. Take our assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.