Costs and Benefits of Gambling
Gambling is an activity in which a person risks something of value, usually money, on a random event with the hope of winning something else of value. The outcome of the gamble is dependent on both the actual risk and the irrational beliefs that people have about gambling, such as the belief that a series of losses or near misses indicates an imminent win.
There are a number of negative social impacts that can arise from gambling and they include loss of money, the feeling of being robbed, depression, anxiety and stress, addiction, family problems, suicide and domestic violence. Gambling can also cause other harms to the people around the gambler, such as the burden of debt, financial distress and health and well-being issues.
Although gambling has many negative social and economic effects, some benefits are also associated with it. For example, it can provide an opportunity to meet new people and may even improve an individual’s mental health. It can also increase self-esteem and boost one’s sense of achievement.
It is important to recognize these positive effects in order to avoid a negative impact on the gambler’s health and wellbeing. However, methods for evaluating the costs and benefits of gambling are complex and varied. Cost and benefit analyses can be conducted on a personal, interpersonal and community/society level. In contrast to monetary effects, these types of impacts are less easily quantified and therefore have received little attention in studies on gambling.