Gambling is a behaviour where individuals or groups risk money or other things of value on a random event with the intent to win something else of value. It is an activity that can have a range of negative impacts on people’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing.

There are a variety of ways that gambling can be harmful, including putting people’s lives in danger, causing them to lose money, and creating problems with their relationships, work or study. It can also get people into trouble with the law and leave them in debt and at risk of homelessness.

The harms of gambling can be difficult to recognise and understand. They are caused by a combination of factors, including the way that gambling is played, the environment in which it takes place and the psychological triggers that lead to gamblers to take risks.

One of the main ways in which people can be harmed by gambling is by denying that it is a problem and not acting to stop it. This may include not telling friends and family about their gambling habits or keeping secret from them how much money they are spending on it.

In order to help you identify whether your gambling is a problem, you should keep an eye on the amount of money you are spending on it and how long it is taking you to win or lose. This will let you know if it is getting out of hand and you need to take steps to stop it.

Another way to prevent harm from gambling is by making sure you only gamble with what you can afford to lose. This will help you avoid chasing losses or trying to make up for previous mistakes.

It can also help to set a limit on how much you can gamble each week, so that you don’t go over your budget. You can also try to keep track of your gambling and see if it’s affecting your life or others in a negative way.

Gambling can be very addictive and can cause a lot of harm if you are not careful. If you think you or someone you know is struggling with it, there are services available to help.

The first type of harms experienced by both people who gambled and affected others were the initial financial impact of gambling, such as the erosion of savings or capacity to spend on other discretionary items. These were identified as a key threshold in seeking assistance and treatment for those who engaged in gambling and were associated with other financial harms such as poor credit ratings, financial vulnerability and poverty.

There were a number of other types of financial harms that also emerged in this data, including reliance on security bonds or expensive credit products, which were particularly damaging to vulnerable people and families who were often already disadvantaged by their circumstances. These impacts could be severe enough to create second order harms labeled as a lifecourse or intergenerational harms, such as tipping a person into the poverty cycle or creating ongoing decrements to their health.