Costs of Gambling

Gambling Jun 28, 2024

Gambling involves wagering something of value (money, property, etc.) on a random event, such as a football match or scratchcard game, with the intent to win something else of value. A prize win can be anything from a small cash sum to an expensive holiday or car.

Research has found that gambling imposes costs at the individual, interpersonal, and community/societal levels. These costs may be monetary, or non-monetary and can include quality of life losses, health risks, and reduced social capital. These costs can be difficult to measure and quantify, particularly those that are intangible. In addition, it can be challenging to distinguish between the direct and indirect costs of gambling.

Indirect costs of gambling have been shown to be high, especially for low-income households. These costs are often borne by family members, friends, and the wider community. The majority of these costs are non-monetary, and have been linked to increased reliance on social services.

A few studies have investigated the effects of gambling at the societal level, but these are limited. Some of these studies have used disability weights, or health-related quality of life (HRQL) weights, to discover the intangible costs associated with gambling.

If you know someone with a gambling problem, try to support them in seeking treatment. Offer to accompany them to a doctor or psychologist, and consider a peer support program, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which uses a 12-step recovery model. In addition, set boundaries in managing money; take control of your finances; and review your bank and credit card statements.