While the effects of gambling have been studied at multiple levels, the broader impact can be seen on the individual, interpersonal, and community level. The personal impact of gambling can be seen in the financial losses that the gambler experiences and in the economic and social impact of gambling on the community. In some cases, the effects of gambling can cause family members and friends to suffer, while other instances can result in homelessness and bankruptcy. Ultimately, the negative impacts of gambling can be seen in all levels of society.
The psychological effects of gambling are also evident, and can have detrimental consequences on the individual and their significant other. While illicit lending and petty theft by family members are common forms of interpersonal harm, violence associated with gambling can be far worse. Pathological gambling has been associated with increased risks of violence against family members, dating partners, and children. Even homicide in the family has been associated with pathological gambling. Additionally, 63% of problem gamblers have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, including physical abuse.
The legal amounts of gambling vary, but in general, the world’s population spends over $10 trillion per year. Legally, most countries offer some type of gambling. State-licensed lotteries in the United States and Europe are the most common type of gambling. In addition to traditional lotteries, organized football pools can be found in nearly every European country, most South American countries, Australia, and many African countries. In addition to football pools, most countries allow state-licensed wagering on other sporting events.