Gambling is the act of risking something of value (usually money) on an event that relies on chance, such as betting on a football team to win or playing a scratchcard. In modern society, gambling is a multi-billion pound industry and the majority of people who gamble do so legally. However, there are also a number of illegal and underground gambling activities, which often have serious consequences for those involved.

The negative impacts of gambling have been observed at the individual, interpersonal, and community/society level. Personal and interpersonal level impacts are mostly non-monetary in nature and are invisible to researchers, while society/community level externalities are monetary in nature and can be measured using health-related quality of life weights (known as disability weights).

A common misconception about gambling is that it is only harmful because the person wins or loses. In reality, it can cause harm to a gambler’s health and relationships and can even lead to bankruptcy and homelessness. It can also affect other members of the community by increasing the burden on local services, such as police and hospital costs.

People often gamble to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as boredom or loneliness, but there are other ways to do this, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, and practicing relaxation techniques. In addition, gambling can stimulate local economies by creating jobs, generating tax revenues, and supporting businesses through sponsorships and partnerships. This can improve the quality of life for those who live in the area by improving the infrastructure, promoting tourism, and boosting consumer spending.