How Gambling Affects Our Health and Wellbeing


Gambling involves betting something of value (usually money) on an event with a random outcome and an expectation of winning a prize. It can involve games of chance such as bingo, lottery and slot machines, or games of skill like casino games and sports betting. It may also include speculating on business, insurance and stock markets.

Problem gambling can have a devastating effect on people’s health and wellbeing. It can lead to strained or broken relationships, poor performance at work or school, financial difficulties and even homelessness. It is also associated with high suicide rates. It is important to understand how gambling can affect our mental and physical health so we can avoid it or seek help if necessary.

While gambling does have many negative effects, it can also have positive impacts on society. These benefits are often underestimated because they are not considered in economic costing studies that focus on the monetary costs of gambling, which are usually only the tip of the iceberg. Taking a public health approach to gambling can reveal more of the social benefits, including reduced crime and increased charitable gambling revenues.

There are many other ways to relieve unpleasant feelings than gambling. Try exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques. If you still find yourself craving gambling, speak to a therapist about it. Therapy can help you learn to manage your emotions and build a healthier life. It’s important to realize that overcoming a gambling addiction takes time. You’ll likely slip up from time to time, but the most important thing is that you continue working towards recovery. If you have severe problems with gambling, there are inpatient and residential programs available that can provide around-the-clock support and treatment.

The social and economic costs of gambling have been identified at three levels: financial, labor, and health and well-being. Financial impacts can include changes in personal and family finances, impact on other industries, and increases or decreases in infrastructure costs or values. Labor impacts can be measured in terms of job losses or gains, productivity, absenteeism, and poor health. Health and well-being impacts can be measured using quality of life measures such as the Disability Weights (DW), which measure the per-person burden of a disease or injury on an individual’s health-related quality of life.

When a loved one is addicted to gambling, it can be difficult to know how to respond. You can help by setting boundaries in managing their credit and finances, but you should not micromanage their behavior or encourage them to gamble. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to a support group for families affected by gambling addiction. You’ll find that other families have struggled with the same issues and can offer valuable advice.