Parents should watch for signs of problem gambling. Gambling can negatively affect a child’s social and educational development. Parents can help their children avoid gambling by promoting other activities that help them deal with stress, feel good about themselves, and let off steam. Children also take cues from their parents’ attitudes toward gambling. The less exposure a child receives to gambling, the less likely they will become problem gamblers.
Forms of gambling
There are many forms of gambling. Casino gambling, lottery tickets, sports betting, raffle tickets, and private betting are just a few examples of the various types of gambling. Problem gambling is associated with high levels of involvement in these forms of gambling, but the relationship between these different forms of gambling and problem gambling is unclear.
The majority of us will participate in gambling at some point in our lives, so it is important to understand the different types. Different forms of gambling will appeal to different types of players and different types of tastes.
Health effects of gambling
While gambling itself is a relatively benign activity, the health effects of gambling can cause significant damage to an individual’s life. For example, one person’s gambling problem may impact five to ten other people, and the proportion of lives negatively affected by a gambling problem is often three to four times higher than the rate of problem gambling in the general population. It is estimated that 30% of New Zealanders know of someone with a gambling problem, and 8% of New Zealanders have personally experienced harm as a result of a gambling problem. Children and partners often experience greater harm than other persons, with financial impacts being the most common.
Although some studies have shown that gambling causes negative outcomes, fewer studies have investigated the positive consequences of gambling. Moreover, gambling harms have a variety of causes, and it is difficult to measure the causes of each individual harm. Nevertheless, it is possible to measure the effects of gambling on quality of life, using a tool called disability weights. This method has been used to measure the social costs of gambling, as well as how harms affect people’s social connections.