Gambling Disorders

Gambling is an activity where participants risk something of value (money, goods or services) on an event whose outcome is uncertain or dependent on chance. This includes games of chance such as bingo, keno, roulette and fruit machines; sports betting (such as horse racing and football accumulators); and speculating on business, insurance or stock markets. Some people are able to control their gambling, but others need treatment to break the cycle of behaviour. Symptoms of a gambling disorder can appear at any age and tend to run in families. They may include an urge to gamble, a feeling that the urge cannot be controlled and losses that outweigh wins. They can also affect significant others.

Various types of therapy are available for gambling disorders, including family, group and individual therapy. These can help people to understand why they are gambling and think about other options. They can also help them to resolve issues and make changes.

There is a need for more research on the health and social impacts of gambling, especially costs at the personal and community/societal levels. Currently, most research on gambling has focused on gross impact studies that provide only one aspect of the issue and do not attempt to provide a balanced perspective. These studies often lack a definition of social costs or benefits, and neglect expenditure substitution effects and aggregation of real wealth (Ison, 1995a). This report aims to develop a framework that can be used for the study of gambling’s social and health impacts.

Posted in: Gambling