How to Define Harmful Gambling


Gambling is the act of risking something of value on an outcome that is determined at least in part by chance. This can include betting on a lottery, playing the pokies, or wagering money on a football match.

Although many people gamble for fun, it can be a problem if you are losing money regularly or are getting into debt. If you feel that gambling is affecting your family and relationships, seek help to stop the behavior. There are many options for treatment, including therapy, counseling, and inpatient or residential programs.

In addition to the risk of financial harm, gambling can also cause physical, psychological, and social problems. These issues can lead to depression and anxiety. Some people develop gambling disorder, a serious mental illness that requires professional assistance.

It’s important to understand that most people have been gambling at some point in their lives, and it is possible to recover from gambling addiction. However, it is not always easy. The biggest challenge is admitting that you have a problem and seeking help to stop the behavior.

Harmful gambling is defined as any initial or exacerbated adverse consequence due to an engagement with gambling that decrements the health or well-being of an individual, family unit, community or population.

The definition of harmful gambling was developed based on a public health approach to harms, which includes the influence of comorbidities and provides for operationalisation in future measurement. It was also formulated to provide a definition that is consistent with the national definition of problem gambling.

Defining harms from gambling was a process of developing a conceptual framework and taxonomy derived from a review of the research literature on gambling harms and consultation with experts and community sources. The framework was then applied to data arising from focus groups (n = 25) and semi-structured interviews with individuals who had experienced harms from their own or another person’s gambling.

The harms framework consists of three temporal categories: the index case, negative consequences and legacy harms. The framework provides a clear and concise description of the experiences of harms from gambling for both the individual who gambles and others affected by their behaviour, and is separate to symptoms of problem gambling and diagnostic criteria used in identifying those with a gambling problem.

Negative consequences from gambling is a category of harm that refers to the consequences that an individual experiences when they engage with gambling, such as poor performance at work or school or financial difficulties. These can be experienced at the time of the first engagement with gambling, or over a period of time if they continue to engage in the behaviour.

These can be associated with a range of consequences, such as social isolation, stress, or poor health. Some of the negative effects may be long-term or permanent, while others are temporary and short-lived.

These can include loss of self-esteem, anger, anxiety, and depression. Some of these effects are life-threatening. Other effects can be very painful, such as strained or broken relationships and financial distress. It can be hard to get support from friends or family, especially if you have lost a lot of money.