Gambling involves the wagering of money on a random event that has an uncertain outcome. It can also include the placing of bets on sports events, horse races, or other events, and is generally undertaken for entertainment or fun. It is an activity that has a positive impact on the economy of communities where it takes place, with taxes and fees helping to improve local infrastructure, providing employment opportunities, supporting tourism and hospitality services, and bringing in additional revenue for public programs.

Problem gambling can cause harm to a person’s health and relationships. It may lead to debt, homelessness, and other social issues. Many people struggle to recognise that they have a gambling problem, and may hide their behaviour from family and friends. There are a number of organisations that can offer support, assistance and counselling for individuals who have a gambling problem.

Despite the positive economic impacts of gambling, it is important to consider the negative and social costs and benefits associated with the activity. These can be categorized into three classes: financial, labor and health and well-being. Financial and labor impacts affect gamblers directly, while social impacts influence the interpersonal and community/society levels, affecting others who do not gamble. Social impacts are usually non-monetary and difficult to measure, thus they have often been ignored in calculations. However, they can be measured using a health-related quality of life measure called disability weights. Moreover, they can be combined with a subjective measure of gambling harm known as the societal real wealth measure developed by Williams and Walker [32]. This can provide a more comprehensive and holistic assessment of the impacts of gambling.