Everything You Need to Know About Gambling

Everything you need to know about Gambling: the history, the myths and the facts.

Gambling is the wagering of something of value (like money or possessions) on an event that has a random outcome determined at least partly by chance, where instances of strategy are discounted. Gambling is an activity with a number of positive and negative impacts, which manifest on personal, interpersonal, and community/societal levels (Fig. 1). The impact of gambling can be separated into three classes: financial, labor and health, and well-being. Financial impacts can include casino revenues, tourism, changes in costs or values of infrastructure and other industries affected by gambling, and job gains, losses, and unemployment. Labor and health impacts may involve changes in productivity, absenteeism, poor performance, emotional distress, gambling addiction, and social problems related to gambling. Well-being impacts may involve a range of factors including mood improvements, relationships, and social capital. Although the quantification of economic impacts is relatively straightforward, quantifying social and other social costs can be challenging. This is especially true when these costs are intangible and are not reflected directly in the gambling industry’s balance sheets. However, these costs can have a significant impact on gamblers and their families. Increasing the availability of family therapy and gambling addiction treatment programs can help reduce these costs. It is also important to strengthen one’s support network and seek out other activities that are not centered around gambling, such as group activities at work or in the community, hobbies, education, or volunteering.