The Effects of Gambling on Individuals, Interpersonal, and Community Levels

Gambling is a behavior that involves risking something of value on an activity that is mainly based on chance in the hopes of realizing a profit. It has existed in virtually every society since prerecorded history and is reflected in local customs, traditions, and even mythology. Some examples of gambling activities include games of chance, lotteries, and betting on sports events.

While the psychological and neurological processes involved in gambling may vary from one game to another, there are some common features. For example, all forms of gambling involve a consideration of value, a risk, and a prize. However, the most significant differences lie in the types of games played. There are different games that can be played in casinos, such as keno, poker, blackjack, roulette, and slots. Some games can be a little more complex than others, but all of them require the gambler to make a decision.

There are also several risks associated with gambling, and the consequences of problem gambling can have serious implications for both the gambler and their family and friends. For example, a person who has a problem with gambling might lie to their family or therapist to conceal the extent of their involvement in gambling. Alternatively, they might steal or engage in other illegal activities to finance their gambling habits. In addition, a person who has a problem gambling addiction is likely to experience emotional distress and social isolation as a result of their compulsive gambling behaviors.

Some of the most important tips to consider are those that pertain to safety and etiquette. For example, you should always tip your dealer when you win a game, or at least try to do so. It is also important to stay hydrated when gambling, so be sure to drink water and avoid drinking too many cocktails. Finally, it is a good idea to leave your phone at home or in the hotel room. This will help to keep you from being distracted or tempted to gamble.

Besides the negative effects on individuals, gambling has many external impacts at the personal, interpersonal, and community/society levels (Fig. 1). At the individual level, the costs of gambling are mostly invisible and involve nonmonetary impacts such as loss of personal integrity, self-esteem, and morale. At the interpersonal level, costs include increased financial strain on a gambler’s family members; effects that escalate into bankruptcy and homelessness; and reduced quality of life. At the community/society level, external costs of gambling are primarily monetary and include general costs/benefits, problems related to gambling, and long-term cost/benefits.