Is gambling always a health risk?

The British medical journal "The Lancet Public Health" published a controversial statement on the subject of gambling these days. According to the experts, gambling is said to be a source of serious and far-reaching damage. In addition, gambling is not an “ordinary activity”.

gambling always a health risk

In this context, the Ärzteblatt also announced that they are planning a special commission for games of chance, which should start working soon. But what are the arguments of the British Ärzteblatt in favor of seeing gambling in general as a health risk and are the statements even tenable? There has been a controversial public image on the subject of gambling for years. While gambling is largely frowned upon in some cultures and countries around the world, gambling in Europe is largely socially accepted. The British medical journal now generally describes gambling as a health risk.

Does gambling always have to be bad?

The Ärzteblatt from Great Britain sees gambling as an overall health risk. The statement states, among other things, that gambling is not an “ordinary activity”. In addition, one sees “addictive behavior” in gambling. In addition, British doctors apparently see gambling as the source of all suffering and misery. For example, gambling is a source of far-reaching and serious damage. In addition to one’s own health, personal prosperity and interpersonal contacts are also apparently impaired.

The fact is that gambling can definitely be dangerous and can also destroy livelihoods. But that doesn’t mean that gambling always has to be bad. There is not only black or white, but also colors in between. After all, not every gambling fan is addicted to gambling. The majority of the players simply enjoy the entertainment and the thrill and do not display any problematic gaming behavior.

The commission wants to counteract a “wrong development”

Those in charge of the British medical journal “The Lancet Public Health” are of the opinion that gambling with all its dark sides has remained hidden from public health control for too long. For this reason it was decided to set up a separate commission for gambling. The aim of the scientific investigation is to counteract the assumed “undesirable development”.

Unfortunately, the British medical journal was still covered with detailed facts on the subject of investigation. So it is not yet clear what tasks the Commission will take on. It would be desirable, especially after the fierce criticism of the entire gambling sector, that at least some information soon be available about the exact aim of the investigation.

An interesting question for the Commission would be whether the global pandemic will have a significant impact on addictive behavior. The doctors are convinced that this could be the case.

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) provides a free service number on the subject of gambling addiction on 0800 1 37 27 00. The consultation times are from Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, we provide a guide with “General tips for dealing with gambling”.


Overall, the statement published by the British Ärzteblatt seems very one-sided. The impression quickly arises that those responsible do not draw any boundaries between gambling and gambling addiction, but see something bad in every game of chance. A more differentiated approach would definitely be desirable for the upcoming research work of the new commission.

Because, at least from our point of view, it is wrong to report so one-sidedly on the topic and thereby ignore the majority of players who play responsibly every day and mostly have no problems with their health, with their wealth or with personal relationships that lead to due to gambling. So we can be all the more excited about the future findings of the new British Medical Journal Commission.

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