Gambling is any game in which someone stakes something of value on the outcome of a random event and where instances of strategy are discounted. It can involve games of chance such as scratchcards, roulette, and blackjack in brick-and-mortar casinos or online. It also includes betting on sports events such as football, horse racing or boxing where the prize can be anything from a small sum of money to a life-changing jackpot.
There are many different reasons why people gamble ranging from social to coping and some can become addictive. Studies show that some individuals are genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviour and impulsivity, which can make it difficult for them to control their gambling and weigh risk against rewards. Other factors that may contribute to someone becoming an impulsive gambler include being exposed to gambling media at an early age, having a family history of problem gambling and living in communities where it is commonplace.
In general, the impacts of gambling can be structuralized into negative and positive; costs and benefits. These can be further categorized into personal, interpersonal and community/society levels. While personal and interpersonal impacts tend to occur on a personal level to the gamblers themselves, external impacts affect other people including friends, relatives and work colleagues. In addition, societal/community impacts can be seen to impact the quality of life and social cohesion within the society at large. These non-monetary impacts have been largely overlooked in the past due to their complexity and lack of standard methodological approaches to quantify them.