Gambling involves risking something of value on a random event with the intent to win a prize. Whether you bet on a football match, play the pokies or buy a scratchcard, it’s important to remember that gambling is risky and you will likely lose some money. It’s also important to budget your gambling expenses and never chase your losses. If you’re concerned that your gambling is causing harm to your life, it’s important to speak with one of our counsellors who are trained to help.
The impacts of gambling can be structuralized into three classes: costs and benefits; these are manifested in personal, interpersonal and community/society levels. Costs of gambling include financial, labor and health and well-being impacts. Financial impacts include changes in economic activity (income and growth), expenditures, tourism, and infrastructure cost or value changes. Labor impacts of gambling include changes in employee productivity, absenteeism and reduced performance. Health and well-being impacts of gambling include effects on physical, mental and social health and well-being.
In terms of benefits, it’s worth noting that gambling revenues can be used to support public services and the economy in general. They can also increase employment and investment in the community, particularly by providing training opportunities. However, it’s worth noting that the introduction of casinos has been associated with an increase in crime rates, including violent crimes, and problems with alcohol and drug abuse.
It’s important to consider that many people who gamble have a mental health issue. People with depression or anxiety are at higher risk of harmful gambling and can use it as a way to escape their feelings or avoid dealing with them. It’s also important to remember that harmful gambling can lead to debt, family breakdown, financial hardship and bankruptcy.
The negative impacts of gambling can be complex and difficult to understand. Often people don’t realise the extent of the damage caused and may hide their spending habits from loved ones or lie about it. In severe cases, pathological gambling can cause violence against significant others and even lead to thoughts of suicide. It has also been linked to the incidence of homicide in the community.