The Impact of Gambling

Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event, where instances of strategy are discounted. It requires three elements: consideration, risk and a prize. While most people who gamble do so recreationally, a small proportion become seriously addicted and suffer severe social, family and financial problems. The addiction can also impact the work performance and health of those affected, as well as their relationships with others.

It is possible to overcome gambling addiction, but it is often a complex problem. It is important to understand the underlying causes and find healthy ways to manage feelings like anger, fear, anxiety and depression. These can include exercising, spending time with non-gambling friends, trying new hobbies and practicing relaxation techniques.

A Christian who has been gambling has a responsibility to invest his or her finances soberly and wisely. However, when that money is used to indulge in a vice that God has forbidden, it violates a fundamental biblical principle and contributes to societal ills.

It is difficult to determine the impact of gambling, as different researchers, psychiatrists, other treatment care clinicians and public policy makers frame issues differently based on their disciplinary training, experience and world views. As a result, the nomenclature used in gambling research has varied over the years. The following sections present some of the most commonly accepted categories for describing gambling and its impacts: personal, interpersonal and societal/community level. Each of these levels includes invisible, internal, monetary and long-term effects.