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The Hidden Costs of Gambling

Gambling involves wagering something of value on an uncertain event with the intent to win something else of value. It can be an enjoyable pastime, but it can also become a serious addiction. If you find yourself gambling for money that you don’t have, lying to others about your spending or increasing your bets to make up for losses, you may be suffering from a gambling problem. Talking to a doctor or trying self-help tips can help you overcome this addictive behaviour.

People gamble for many reasons: for fun, to socialize or to escape from worries and stress. But for some people, gambling can become a destructive habit that leads to financial problems, health issues and emotional difficulties.

Research suggests that for some people, there are underlying biological factors that predispose them to thrill-seeking behaviour and impulsivity. This is believed to be due to differences in the way that brain regions process reward information and control impulses. This can be exacerbated by certain medications, family history and social pressures to gamble.

Studies have largely ignored social impacts, focusing on the negative economic costs and benefits of gambling, which are easily quantifiable. In order to discover the real impact of gambling, a more holistic approach is required, which includes measuring the quality of life of gamblers and their significant others using disability weights or HRQL measures. This will reveal hidden costs of gambling that are not readily apparent from monetary analysis alone.