Hidden Costs of Gambling

Gambling is an activity in which something of value is risked on the outcome of a random event. It can include activities such as playing games of chance, betting on sports events or political elections, and speculating on business, insurance, stock markets, and other investment ventures.

In addition to the direct financial costs of gambling, negative impacts on gamblers’ and their significant others’ quality of life have also been reported. These effects are often referred to as “hidden costs” and are not reflected in gambling revenue calculations. They are primarily caused by the behavioral signs of gambling addiction, which are associated with sensation-and novelty-seeking, arousal, and poor impulse control [2].

For gambling to occur, there must be a decision: whether to play or not, whether to keep playing, and what to wager on. For the latter, a gambler needs to decide how much they’re willing to lose, and not exceed that amount. This means getting rid of credit cards, having someone else be in charge of money management, putting a lock on online gambling accounts, or only keeping a limited amount of cash on you when you’re out and about.

Gambling has been found to occupy people who would otherwise be engaged in criminal activities such as burglary, robbery and drug peddling, reducing crime rates to some extent. It also contributes to the local economy in cities like Las Vegas by creating jobs and generating revenues that are partly directed toward charitable and community services.