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The association between gambling and financial, social and health outcomes in big financial data
journal contributionposted on 05.05.2021, 03:30 by Naomi Muggleton, Paula Parpart, Philip Newall, David Leake, John Gathergood, Neil Stewart
Gambling is an ordinary pastime for some people, but is associated with addiction and harmful outcomes for others. Evidence of these harms is limited to small-sample, cross-sectional self-reports, such as prevalence surveys. We examine the association between gambling as a proportion of monthly income and 31 financial, social and health outcomes using anonymous data provided by a UK retail bank, aggregated for up to 6.5 million individuals over up to 7 years. Gambling is associated with higher financial distress and lower financial inclusion and planning, and with negative lifestyle, health, well-being and leisure outcomes. Gambling is associated with higher rates of future unemployment and physical disability and, at the highest levels, with substantially increased mortality. Gambling is persistent over time, growing over the sample period, and has higher negative associations among the heaviest gamblers. Our findings inform the debate over the relationship between gambling and life experiences across the population.