Gambling Impacts

Gambling is an activity that involves placing a wager on a random event with the hope of winning something of value. While some people gamble for leisure, compulsive gambling can lead to serious problems and harm. These impacts can be seen at a personal, interpersonal and community/societal level.

At the personal level, gambling impacts can affect individuals directly or indirectly and are generally invisible to others (personal, internal costs). External impacts at the interpersonal and society/community levels involve people who are not gamblers themselves, such as family members, friends and colleagues. These social costs include financial strain, debt, escalating gambling behavior and even bankruptcy. They can also have negative impacts on the overall quality of life, such as decreased health-related quality of life (HRQL) weights.

When you win a game of chance, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine. This reward system helps you learn from positive experiences and improve your performance in similar situations. It is the same mechanism that makes you seek out rewarding activities like spending time with loved ones or eating a delicious meal. Problematic gambling, however, changes the dopamine response and encourages you to engage in risky behaviors.

Another negative impact is the strain that gambling can place on relationships. People who become addicted to gambling can often prioritise their addiction over their significant others, leading to conflict and even resentment. This can be exacerbated when gamblers rely on other people to fund their gambling habits or if they engage in illegal activities to source funds.

Posted in: Gambling