What Are the Intangible Effects of Gambling?

Gambling is an activity whereby a person or group of people place bets on events that can have a positive outcome or a negative one. Events can include anything from football matches to scratchcards. People gamble for a number of reasons, but generally they do it for social, financial or entertainment purposes. People also do it to escape from daily life or to relieve stress. However, if it becomes habitual, it can lead to a lot of debt and can damage family relationships.

There are various ways of stopping gambling, including limiting the amount spent, blocking websites and apps, using credit cards that have someone else in charge of them, closing online betting accounts, having a friend or trusted colleague keep track of spending, and only keeping a small amount of cash on you. There are also many support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, where you can find a sponsor who has gone through the same experience and can help you through difficult times.

Whether you’re in a twinkly casino or on the floor of an online slot machine, your brain is wired to seek rewards. When you win, your body releases a chemical called dopamine, and this can cause you to continue to gamble. However, problem gambling can change the reward pathway in your brain and make you feel addicted to losing.

Gambling has many negative and harmful effects, but it also has some benefits. These are called ‘intangible’ impacts because they are not measurable in monetary terms. They are mainly observed at the individual, interpersonal and society/community levels.