The effects of gambling are felt on a personal, interpersonal, and community level. Some impacts are less obvious, such as financial loss, but they are nonetheless significant. Depending on the individual’s circumstances, the consequences of gambling can range from poor health to homelessness. Those closest to the gambler may also suffer from the consequences of gambling, including bankruptcy. These costs and benefits are often invisible to the gambler and those close to the problem. Here are the three main categories of gambling-related impacts.
o Make a commitment to quit. If you’ve become addicted to gambling, you need to make a firm decision to quit. You’ll need to resist the urge to lose control of your finances. In the meantime, you may want to cancel all your credit cards or make payments to someone else instead. Alternatively, you can enroll in an educational class or volunteer for a worthy cause. Lastly, join a peer support group. One such group is Gamblers Anonymous. This 12-step program is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. Members are required to find a sponsor, who is another gambler with whom they can share experiences.
Lastly, gambling affects the wider community. The general impact of gambling can be beneficial, especially if it is done recreationally or socially. However, there are serious consequences of excessive gambling, including financial ruin and social care costs. The consequences of excessive gambling affect individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole. In the United States, gambling was only legalized in 1974 in Nevada. By 1995, the amount of money spent on gambling had grown to half a trillion dollars. In Europe, gambling is widely accepted, with many countries including Britain and Albania implementing state lotteries.
As an addiction, gambling affects the individual’s relationships, career, and overall quality of life. During a gambling episode, the person is preoccupied with the activity and often returns to it when he or she is stressed or frightened. The gambler often hides the extent of his or her involvement in gambling and may turn to others for money to alleviate their financial problems. These are just some of the major consequences of gambling addiction.
The first category of gambling is the risk of loss. This category includes any activity that involves taking a risk. While gambling can result in winning, the odds are stacked against the gambler. Moreover, the activity should be budgeted as an expense and not as a source of income. Chance-based gambling includes games like Bingo and the lottery. During these games, all participants have the same chance to win, so the odds are in favor of the player.
In the 1990s, online gambling became popular. Many argued that online gambling was an end-run around government regulation because it was possible for online gambling operators to set up shop in an offshore jurisdiction. Anyone with a computer and a credit card could access online gambling sites and place wagers. This fueled Congress and the Department of Justice to consider legislation on online gambling. While the debate over online gambling has continued, a new book has come out that lays out the history of gambling and explains why it remains a legitimate industry.