The Psychology of Gambling

The Psychology of Gambling


A gamble is an activity in which you risk something of value (like money or your own possessions) for a chance to win something else. The objective of gambling is to win the prize by predicting the outcome of a game of chance or luck, such as on a scratchcard or fruit machine, in a casino or by betting on a sporting event or election.

Gambling can be fun and a way to pass the time, but it’s important to remember that gambling can be addictive. If you think you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, it’s important to seek help. There are many different treatments available, including family therapy and marriage and credit counselling. You may also want to consider cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which can help you change the way you think about betting and how you feel when you start losing.

The psychology of gambling

The psychological impacts of gambling can be seen at the personal, interpersonal and community/society levels. The personal impact is felt by the gambler themselves and includes thoughts, feelings, behaviours and relationships. The interpersonal impact affects those close to the gambler and can include friends, family and work colleagues. The community/society level involves the wider population and includes costs and benefits that accrue to the whole society. These can include the social cost of gambling (which can be measured using health-related quality of life weights) and the social benefits associated with gambling.

The causes of gambling problems

Gambling is often a hidden problem that can be difficult to recognise and identify. However, there are some signs that can indicate if you have a problem, such as hiding money or lying to your loved ones about how much you spend on gambling. If you have any concerns about your own gambling or are worried about a friend or family member, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of counsellors. It is free, confidential and available 24/7.

While there are some positive social impacts of gambling, the majority of studies have focused on the negative effects on gamblers and their significant others. This has led to a narrow view of the impact of gambling that neglects the positive aspects that can be enjoyed by many people. To find out more about the benefits of gambling, or to talk to a counsellor about your own or a friend’s gambling problems, call our helpline on 0800 111 222. Or, if you prefer, you can also contact us online. Alternatively, visit our FAQ page for more information. Alternatively, if you are concerned about the gambling habits of someone you know, you can use our anonymous chat service. Simply click on the image below to open the chat window. Then, simply type your question or comment into the box and we will respond as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.