Gambling is betting or staking something of value on an event that involves chance, such as a football match or a scratchcard. People gamble for a variety of reasons – for fun, for a thrill or to make money. It can range from the buying of lottery tickets to more sophisticated casino gambling by those who have wealth or power.

Most studies focus on the negative impacts of gambling, such as financial problems, social problems and family distress. These effects occur at the individual, interpersonal and community/societal levels. However, little is known about the positive effects of gambling. This article seeks to explore these effects by applying a public health perspective.

This article reviews the evidence on positive and negative social impacts of gambling from a public health perspective. It also discusses the underlying mechanisms behind these impacts and the methodological challenges associated with measuring them. The authors also highlight the need to consider a wider range of impact indicators when studying gambling.

Gambling is a complex business that involves many individuals. From dealers and odds compilers to marketing and PR staff, the gambling industry is a huge employer in its own right. Its main purpose, however, is to offer entertainment and give the punter a rush when lady luck is on their side. This is why casinos and other gambling venues are not one-man shows – they need to turn over large sums of money and have high profit margins to remain in business.