Gambling is an activity that involves risk-taking in the hope of winning a prize. It can involve playing a game, betting on sports events or using the pokies. It is not unusual for gamblers to bet on things they know nothing about. However, a lot of people end up losing a great deal of money when they engage in gambling. It can also affect their mental health, family and social life, and work performance. Some individuals also become addicted to gambling. The addiction can be very hard to break, especially if the person has lost a lot of money and has strained or even broken relationships with their family and friends.
Most of the time, in the media, we hear about the adverse effects of gambling. But there are some benefits that also materialize, mostly at the individual level. Some of these benefits include socialization, mental developments and skill improvement. Moreover, the act of gambling helps to eradicate stress and worries because it is a relaxing and entertaining activity.
Another advantage of gambling is that it can bring together multiple individuals in a social setting to interact with each other and play. For example, games like poker and blackjack are activities that require more than one player to participate and compete. This socialization aspect of gambling is beneficial for some individuals. Other people use gambling as a way to relax with their families and friends. Moreover, gambling can also be a form of entertainment where people are given the opportunity to win prizes in an exciting environment.
In addition, gambling can be a lucrative industry for those in the business of promoting and selling it. For example, betting firms are able to generate huge profits by attracting customers with attractive odds on certain games. The advertisements on TV or social media are designed to keep punters coming back for more.
At the societal/community level, gambling has many negative impacts that have been categorized into three classes: financial, labor and health and well-being. These impacts can have long-term effects, change the life course of an individual and pass from generation to generation. On the other hand, some positive impacts can be seen at the societal/community level, such as gambling revenues that can be used for social services or infrastructure development.
In the literature, most of the studies focus on the economic costs and benefits associated with gambling. This approach ignores the impact of gambling on society, which is largely non-monetary and difficult to measure. It is important to include the social impact of gambling in studies, as it can also have a positive effect on society. Walker and Williams  have suggested a conceptual model to calculate the social impact of gambling, which can be helpful in developing a common methodology for assessing its impacts on the community. This can help identify gaps in research and develop new interventions to reduce the impact of gambling on the community. These interventions can be in the form of programs to prevent problematic gambling behaviour or tools for assessing the risks of gambling products.