Gambling involves placing bets on events, such as horse races, football games or lottery draws, in order to win a prize, which can range from a small amount of money to a life-changing jackpot. It can be done in brick-and-mortar casinos or online and is one of the largest forms of entertainment worldwide. The global gambling industry is estimated to be worth over $10 trillion, including legal and illegal activities.
The positive and negative impacts of gambling can be structuralized using a model where benefits and costs are categorized into three classes: financial, labor and health/well-being. The personal and interpersonal levels induce effects that affect the gamblers themselves. External impacts influence the community/society level and concern others outside of the gamblers themselves. For example, financial impacts include gamblers’ increased debt and strain on family members. Labor impacts include gamblers’ work productivity changes, and the impact of gambling on their health/well-being can result in changes to their lives, such as depression and suicide.
If you’re dealing with a problem gambler, it’s important to build a strong support network. It may help to join a recovery program such as Gamblers Anonymous, which follows a similar model as Alcoholics Anonymous and offers peer support from people who have struggled with gambling addiction. In addition, it’s important to set boundaries around money management and make sure your loved one doesn’t use your credit card. Lastly, you can also encourage your loved one to find new ways to socialize with friends without relying on gambling as their main outlet.