The Negative Effects of Gambling


Despite the positive financial impact of gambling, little research has been done to assess its negative consequences. Several studies have found a link between gambling and poor health in communities, and fewer studies have addressed the effects on gamblers. However, there are ways to measure the negative impacts of gambling, using health-related quality of life weights (also known as disability weights). These measures have been used to assess the intangible social costs of gambling, and to identify the harms that gambling has on the social networks of gamblers.

While many jurisdictions ban gambling as a business, others restrict it. Business gambling occurs when a gambling hall charges fees to the players and takes a cut of the money they win. For example, “casino night” parties where you pay to attend are illegal in many states. By contrast, “social gambling” occurs when the players are equal and there is no charge for entry. In most cases, “social gambling” is not illegal. Nonetheless, in some jurisdictions, social gambling is illegal, and is therefore prohibited.

The amount of money wagered on gambling each year is approximately $10 trillion, although the amount of illegal gambling may be higher. The largest forms of gambling in the world are lotteries. In the United States and Europe, state-operated lotteries expanded rapidly in the late 20th century. Organized football pools are found in nearly all European countries and in a few South American and Asian countries. Most countries also offer state-licensed wagering on other sporting events.