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Gambling is a form of entertainment that involves the betting of money on a game or event with the expectation of winning something of value. It is often illegal in some countries, or it can be restricted in others on the basis of moral or religious beliefs.

A gambling addiction is a serious problem that costs a lot of money and can lead to personal harm. There are some things you can do to minimise the risk of a gambling addiction and help protect your finances.

Psychological disorders and conditions, coping styles and social learning can make people more susceptible to harmful gambling behaviour. These can include anxiety, depression and substance abuse disorders.

Physical factors, such as the environment and community, can also affect the extent and nature of a person’s gambling behaviour. These may include the number of casinos nearby, or the types of gambling available.

Mental and cognitive factors, such as a person’s gambling habits and beliefs, can also be a factor. These can be influenced by the gambling environment and by psychological conditions, such as PTSD, that can impact on a person’s ability to gamble responsibly.

Some psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, can increase a person’s vulnerability to developing a gambling addiction. These conditions can involve a lack of control over gambling and a high degree of obsession with it.

Pathological gambling is an impulse-control disorder characterized by compulsive and uncontrollable behavior that results in financial, emotional or social problems. It is classified as an addictive disease by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Economic impacts of gambling

The gambling industry is a major source of tax revenue for governments, and can be important to a country’s economy. Moreover, the employment created by casinos and racing can be substantial.

It is difficult to estimate the economic impact of gambling without carefully considering the economic benefits and costs. However, there are some methods that can be used to estimate the net effects of gambling.

One method that has been used is benefit-cost analysis. This method aims to identify the cost of gambling and the net benefits that result from it, while controlling for the effects that gambling may have on social services and criminal justice systems.

While benefit-cost analysis is a useful approach, it has its limitations. For example, it does not include the cost of debt that a person incurs because of pathological gambling. It may also be difficult to identify the effect that gambling has on a person’s health and well-being, since these are not included in benefit-cost analysis.


Gambling can have a significant negative impact on a person’s bankruptcy filing. In fact, gambling is a contributing cause of about 20 percent of bankruptcies in the United States, according to published news accounts and bankruptcy court opinions. In addition, gambling can have an impact on a person’s creditworthiness and can negatively influence his or her ability to obtain loans or to pay back existing debts.