The Social Costs of Gambling

Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event, usually money, with the intent of winning something else of value. The term ‘gambling’ includes games of chance, as well as games of skill. It can also refer to activities that involve a collection of items, such as a board game or a trading card game.

It can be a fun way to spend time with friends and family, especially when it’s done in a safe environment where people can relax and have some fun. It can help improve mental health and socialization among individuals. However, some people develop a gambling addiction and become compulsive gamblers. They may find it hard to walk away and might start hiding their gambling habits or lying to friends and family about how much they are spending on betting.

Problem gambling can cause a lot of harm, not just to the individual gambler, but also to their family and friends. It can also have a negative impact on their work, home life, performance at school or work and relationships. In addition, it can lead to debt, homelessness and even suicide.

The social costs of gambling have largely been overlooked in the literature, with most studies only looking at the economic costs. This is a very biased approach, as the social costs of gambling are often far greater than the economic cost. It is therefore important to include the social costs of gambling in research. One way of doing this is to use a societal benefit analysis (SBA) model which looks at both the economic and social costs of gambling.

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