Gambling is a popular recreational activity that has a variety of negative impacts. These impacts affect gamblers, their significant others and society. The majority of gambling research focuses on the costs and harms of gambling, but positive effects are neglected. An economic cost-benefit analysis can provide insight into the costs and benefits of gambling. This type of analysis uses monetary values to measure changes in well-being and can also uncover intangible harms that are not directly measurable, such as the emotional distress experienced by problem gamblers.
Gamblers may experience problems with their health, finances, work and relationships as a result of their gambling behavior. These problems can be long-lasting and have a profound effect on a person’s life. In some cases, people who develop a gambling addiction were previously considered responsible and dependable individuals. Research suggests that genetic and neurological factors may be at play.
A gambling problem can cause serious financial difficulties, including debts and bankruptcy. It can also lead to mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, migraines and digestive disorders. A severe form of gambling addiction, known as compulsive gambling, can have many negative psychological and physical effects. In addition, it can be a significant source of family conflict and distress. The impact on the gambler’s significant other can be especially severe, as it often leads to a loss of employment and increased strain on the relationship. In addition, the gambler may become secretive about their gambling habits or deny that they have a problem.