Whether it’s buying lotto tickets, scratch-offs, betting on sports or casino games like blackjack, gambling involves risking something of value in exchange for a possible prize. It can be fun, but it’s important to know how to gamble responsibly and when to stop.
Gambling has a long history, and there are many reasons why people do it. For some, it’s for social reasons, or because they enjoy thinking about what they could do with a big win. For others, it’s a way to relieve unpleasant feelings such as boredom or stress. It may also help them to distract themselves from an emotional or financial crisis. However, there are healthier and safer ways to relieve these feelings such as exercise, spending time with non-gambling friends or practicing relaxation techniques.
The problem is, gambling often leads to loss and harm. This can be a personal issue, but it can also have community and societal implications. It’s important to consider these when dealing with a problem gambler.
It’s difficult to measure the impact of gambling on society because it’s hard to find a common methodology. Most studies focus on economic costs and benefits, which are fairly easy to quantify, ignoring personal and interpersonal impacts. This article provides a framework for understanding these impacts. It defines the social impacts of gambling in terms of a three-class hierarchy: personal, interpersonal and societal/community level impacts. It then discusses how these different levels can be structured and analysed in a systematic way.