Gambling is an activity in which a person bets something of value on the outcome of an uncertain event. A person engages in gambling because of the risks involved, the prize that is at stake, and the potential for success or failure. There are many types of gambling. In some cases, gambling can be classified as pathological.

Problem gambling

Problem gambling is an addictive behaviour that leads to financial, emotional, and family difficulties. It can range from mild to severe and can become debilitating over time. Problem gambling has also been referred to as pathological gambling, compulsive gambling, or impulse control disorder.

Pathological gambling

Pathological gambling is a serious problem, which can negatively impact a person’s life. Fortunately, there are several treatment options for this condition. The DSM-IV describes pathological gambling as an addictive behavior that interferes with a person’s life, such as social, family, and vocational pursuits.

Responsible gambling

Responsible gambling is an umbrella term for a number of social responsibility measures that gaming operators, governments and gaming control boards can adopt to reduce gambling harms. These measures include self-exclusion programs, deposit and time limits, and account trackers.

Cost of problem gambling

Problem gambling is estimated to cost the society at least $6 billion annually. In addition to financial damage, it can cause poor health, substance abuse, depression, and even suicidal behavior. Fortunately, there is help for problem gamblers, and there are many ways to help reduce the cost of problem gambling.

Impact of problem gambling on society

Many studies have addressed the economic costs of gambling, but they have rarely considered its social impacts. While the economic cost of problem gambling is clear, the social costs are not well defined. Walker and Barnett defined the social costs of gambling as harm that is done to someone else, but not to the gambler. The costs are social rather than personal and affect society as a whole.

Prevention of problem gambling

Prevention of problem gambling requires an understanding of its prevalence, risk factors, and therapeutic interventions. This understanding will help stakeholders evaluate the relative costs and benefits of various interventions.