Gambling is an activity where you place a bet on the outcome of something that is random and uncertain, such as a football match or scratchcard. If you win, you get money. If you lose, you forfeit the amount of money that you placed. Gambling involves risk and is addictive for some people.
When you gamble, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine gives you the feeling of pleasure, similar to what happens when you eat a tasty meal or spend time with friends. Some people are able to control their gambling and do not have a problem, but for others it becomes a serious issue that can affect their lives in many ways. These include:
It can also cause problems with relationships and finances. If someone you know is gambling too much, talk to them about it. You can also get help for yourself or your loved ones at StepChange.
Unlike economic development studies, which measure only the monetary costs and benefits of gambling, social impact assessments take into account a broader range of impacts that are not always easily quantifiable. For example, an assessment based on health-related quality of life weights (known as disability weights) could help to uncover gambling harms that are not captured by traditional economic evaluation methods. In addition, a broader perspective can help to identify the positive aspects of gambling and how these can be enhanced.