Gambling is an activity in which people risk money or items of value (such as property) on an event involving chance. It can be done in many ways, from betting on football matches to playing scratchcards. The aim is to win money. If successful, the gambler will gain an entertainment benefit – but it is important to note that this doesn’t necessarily make them happy, as gambling can be a source of distress and anxiety.
There are both negative and positive aspects to gambling, but most studies of its impacts have tended to focus on the latter. A recent article proposes a new way of understanding the impact of gambling by looking at both costs and benefits. These can be seen on the personal, interpersonal and societal/community levels, and may be either internal or external to the gambler.
Internal costs and benefits may include changes in financial situations, such as increased debt or the effects of problem gambling on finances. Other types of internal cost and benefit are related to labor, such as the effect of gambling on wages and employment, and health and well-being, including psychological, social and physical health.
There are also societal and community benefits associated with gambling, such as the opportunity for people to meet new people in social settings. This is particularly true for casinos and other venues, which often cater to older people who see them as a place to meet and socialize with friends and family.