Public Health and Gambling


Gambling is an activity in which individuals stake something of value on an event with a chance of winning. It can be done in many different ways, and can involve risk taking, skill or luck. It is an entertaining and popular activity with many social, economic and health benefits, as well as costs. It can affect people of all ages, and in every part of the world. It can also be used to teach maths, as it provides real-world examples of probability and statistics.

However, the risks of gambling can be serious. Problem gambling can cause family, work and health problems, lead to debt, and even suicide. It can also impact other areas of life, such as relationships and children’s performance at school or studies. It can be difficult to recognise if a person is suffering from a gambling disorder. They may hide their gambling activities and lie to friends and family. They may also be withdrawn from their loved ones.

Unlike economic costing studies, which tend to focus only on problematic gambling, this study adopts a public health approach and considers the positive and negative impacts of all forms of gambling. This includes non-problem gambling, which can be beneficial for society. This approach is also useful for examining the impact of gambling on personal and community/societal levels, which can be invisible and hard to quantify, such as family and relationship impacts and stress and anxiety related to problem gambling.

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