Public Health and Gambling
Gambling occurs when you stake something of value for the chance to win a prize. It could be placing a bet on a football match, buying a scratchcard or even playing online casino games. Whatever you choose to gamble on, there are a number of factors that will influence the outcome of your bet.
Some people find gambling fun and enjoyable. It can help relieve stress and take their minds off other problems, and can give them a feeling of euphoria. It can also help them socialize with friends. However, it’s important to remember that you should never gamble with money that you need for bills and other essential needs. It’s also important to know your limits and not chase your losses, which is a common mistake made by many gamblers.
For others, gambling can be a serious problem and cause serious harm. Problem gambling can damage physical and mental health, relationships, work performance and study, get you into debt and cause bankruptcy. It can also have a negative impact on your family, friends and community.
In the past, economic costing studies of gambling have tended to ignore or underestimate social costs and benefits, especially when studying pathological gambling. But taking a public health approach allows us to look at all impacts, not just the tip of the iceberg of problems caused by gambling. This includes examining the positive effects, such as social cohesion, and the impacts on those who do not gamble themselves (such as financial burdens, emotional strain and relationship problems for concerned significant others). These are known as invisible individual and society/community level externalities.