Gambling and Its Non-Meaningful Impacts

Gambling is an activity in which people stake something of value on an event whose outcome is determined by chance. People gamble for many reasons. For some, it is a way to be social with friends and co-workers. For others, it is a way to escape from reality and be surrounded by different people, sights and sounds. Still, for others, gambling is a form of entertainment that gives them a natural high and a sense of excitement and suspense.

Regardless of the reason, gambling can have significant negative impacts not only on the gambler but also his or her family, significant other, and community/society. These impacts can occur at three levels: financial, labor, and health and well-being.

Most studies of gambling focus on the monetary costs and benefits, as these are easy to measure. However, this leaves out the important non-monetary impacts. These non-monetary impacts are known as social costs and benefits. Social costs and benefits aggregate societal real wealth, or harms that accrue to society as a whole and benefit no one in particular.

If you have a loved one with gambling issues, seek help as soon as possible. It is important to understand that you are not alone and there are many families dealing with problem gambling. Reach out to a support group and remember that it is not your fault. Also, set limits in managing money – get rid of credit cards and have someone else be responsible for the money, close online betting accounts, and keep only a small amount of cash on you at all times.

Posted in: Gambling