Gambling involves wagering something of value on a random event (whether it’s a football match or scratchcard) with the intent of winning something else of value. It requires three elements to be present: consideration, risk, and a prize. It also involves a certain degree of skill. For example, casino games require concentration if you want to maximise your chances of winning and learn more about strategy.
Gambling has both positive and negative impacts on individuals, families and communities. Those impacts can be divided into classes: financial, labor and health and well-being. Financial impacts are a result of gambling activities and include changes in the gambler’s financial status, such as debt and increased savings, and can also influence others – for example, their significant others and community/society members.
The health and well-being impact of gambling can include negative effects on the gambler’s physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. These can be long-term and may even affect generations. These impacts are not easily measured, making it difficult to assess the true extent of problem gambling.
While it’s possible to gamble without it causing harm, it’s important to understand how it can affect you and those around you. To minimise your harm, only gamble with money that you can afford to lose and set budgets for how much and how long you’ll play. If you’re struggling with gambling-related problems, there are support services available, including family therapy and marriage, career and credit counseling.