The Social Costs of Gambling

Gambling involves wagering something of value on a random event with the intention of winning something else of value. The game may be legal or illegal and involve skill, chance or both. It is estimated that one problem gambler affects at least seven other people including family members, friends and coworkers. For many people, gambling provides an entertaining diversion that does not impair their ability to support themselves and their families, but for others, it is a serious problem.

The reasons that a person chooses to gamble can vary and include social settings in which to meet other people, the dream of winning money, or coping with stress. Often, the activity is an escape from a person’s troubles, and for this reason it can be difficult for them to recognize that their gambling is out of control. Biologically, people with an underactive brain reward system are particularly vulnerable to gambling because they have difficulty controlling their impulses and weighing risk.

The risk of developing a gambling disorder increases with age, and men are more likely than women to develop a problem. Those with low incomes are also more susceptible because they have less to lose and more to gain from a big win. The social costs of gambling can be positive or negative and may involve a range of issues including crime, financial corruption, and negative economic impacts. Social impacts are a broad concept that is not easily quantifiable, but are defined as those that aggregate societal real wealth, cause harm to someone and benefit no one, or detract from quality of life.

By adminnuclear
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