The Social Effects of Gambling

Gambling is an activity that involves wagering something of value on an event that is primarily based on chance with the hope of gaining something else of value. It has been present in virtually every society since prerecorded history and is incorporated into local customs and rites of passage as well as business practices. Whether you’re gambling online or in person, there are always risks. While most gamblers have fun, a small percentage develop gambling problems that can cause significant negative personal, family and community impacts. The most serious problem gamblers make repeated unsuccessful attempts to control or stop their gambling. They may also jeopardize a job or educational or career opportunity and lie to conceal the extent of their involvement with gambling.

While studies of gambling are usually limited to economic costs and benefits, the social effects of gambling have not been well documented. These are the costs and benefits that affect more than just the gambler and cannot be quantified in monetary terms. These include emotional distress and relationship difficulties, the impact of addiction on families and the effect that escalating debt can have on a community/society.

There are many ways to limit your exposure to gambling and help yourself if you think you have a problem. It is important to have a strong support network and to set limits on how much you can spend. For example, it is good to get rid of credit cards or have someone else be in charge of money, close your online betting accounts and only carry a certain amount of cash with you. Also remember to tip your casino dealers and cocktail waitresses. They work hard and often don’t receive enough tips.