The Positive and Negative Impacts of Gambling


Gambling involves betting on the outcome of an event that relies on chance. Whether you’re placing a bet on a football team to win or buying a scratchcard, your choice of bet is matched with the ‘odds’ set by the gambling company – which determine how much money you could potentially win if you bet correctly.

Gambling has both positive and negative impacts on society and individuals. At a societal level, gambling revenues can be directed towards beneficial public services and infrastructure expenditure, but they may also lead to increased social inequality as higher-income households spend more on gambling than lower-income ones.

Many people gamble as a way to self-soothe unpleasant feelings or escape from stress, but the long-term consequences of excessive gambling can be serious. It is important to seek help for underlying mood disorders such as depression, anxiety or stress as these can trigger problem gambling and make it worse.

Gambling can also have negative effects on family and relationships. It is common for people who have problems with gambling to hide their activity from friends and family, or lie about how much they are spending in a bid to get back the money they have lost. There are healthier and safer ways to relieve boredom or distress, such as spending time with friends who do not gamble, taking up new hobbies or practicing relaxation techniques. These are also easier to do in private and do not require the use of chemical substances, which can be difficult to keep hidden from those around you.