Gambling is the wagering of something of value (such as money, items, or services) on an event that has a random outcome. It includes betting on a sporting team, lottery numbers, or scratchcard games.

When it comes to gambling, there are both positive and negative effects. The positives can include socializing with friends, mental development, and skills improvement. However, the negatives can become severe when the activity is taken to addiction level.

Many people are more sensitive to losses than gains of equal value. This is because of the way the brain processes reward information and controls impulses. Losing a PS10 note triggers a much more prominent emotional reaction than finding a PS10. This is why some gamblers invest so much time and money trying to ‘win back’ previous losses. They often find themselves stuck in a vicious cycle where they spend more and more money to keep the same level of excitement they get from winning.

Gambling has a number of negative impacts that affect the gambler, their significant others and society. These can be structuralized using a model in which the impacts are categorized into three classes: financial, labor and health, and well-being. The benefits and costs are grouped into invisible personal and interpersonal impacts and visible external impacts that occur at the society/community level. These include general impacts, the costs of problem gambling, and long-term costs/benefits. Social impacts are non-monetary and therefore difficult to measure. Therefore, they are often ignored in studies that focus on measuring economic costs and benefits.