External Impacts of Gambling

Gambling is an activity where you put something on a stake for the chance to win. It can be fun, but it can also damage your health and relationships, harm your performance at work or study, get you into trouble with the law or lead to serious debt and even homelessness. It can also affect your family, friends and colleagues. Problem gambling can cause anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Despite these negative aspects of gambling, there are also some positives. Many people enjoy gambling for social reasons – it can be a great way to meet other people, especially in groups. For example, many people enjoy organising gambling trips with friends or family. This helps them to get out of the house and do something a little different to their normal routines.

Other people are purely motivated by the excitement of winning money. This is because gambling can trigger a chemical reaction in the brain, which causes an adrenaline rush. It is similar to the feeling you get when taking drugs, and it can be addictive. It is also thought that the more you gamble, the more your brain adapts to the chemicals and becomes tolerant to them.

Unlike financial, labor and health, the external impacts of gambling are less tangible and can be hard to quantify. They are mainly at the interpersonal and community/society level, which means they can be invisible to gamblers. They are mainly non-monetary and include general costs, costs related to problem gambling and long term cost/benefits.