Gambling and Its Impact on Society
Gambling is a risky activity and can be addictive. It’s illegal in many countries and it can be a serious problem for those with gambling problems.
Gamble with what you can afford to lose and stop when you hit your limits. Don’t chase your losses, as it can lead to larger and larger losses.
Learn how to recognise if you have a gambling problem and seek help for underlying mood disorders such as depression, stress or substance abuse that may be causing your problems. You should also make sure you seek help for any financial or debt issues that you might have, as these could be the reason you are tempted to gamble.
It’s important to get help if you are a family member or friend of someone with a gambling problem. You might feel like you’re on your own or that other people don’t understand the problem, but don’t underestimate the support that can be offered to you and your loved one.
Your gambling environment can affect how you gamble and whether you develop a problem. For example, where you live, the types of casinos you are near, your own coping styles and social learning are all factors that can influence how and whether you develop a gambling problem.
Generally speaking, gambling can be a positive experience for most individuals. In fact, studies have shown that it can be a significant source of income and happiness for the individuals who take part in it.
In addition, gambling can be a positive experience for communities, as it can bring new jobs, increased purchasing power and social services (e.g., hospitals and schools). But it can also have negative impacts on society if it becomes an addiction or a problem for people.
The economic benefits and costs of gambling should be carefully weighed to determine if it is a legitimate tool for promoting economic development, and to identify any social and environmental impacts that are associated with the use of this form of recreation. In order to do this, benefit-cost analysis is necessary (Gramlich, 1990; Grinols, 1995).
Gross impact studies are typically based on a simple accounting of the effects of gambling and fail to provide a balanced perspective. They usually ignore the distinction between direct and indirect effects, tangible and intangible effects, real and transfer effects and present and future values (Fahrenkopf, 1995; Meyer-Arendt, 1995).
Descriptive studies are more detailed and focus on identifying the benefits and costs associated with gambling. However, these studies are criticized for their lack of rigorous analysis, their overemphasis on description and the fact that they often use estimates taken from other studies without attempting to assess whether they apply to the situation being studied.
Unlike most economic impact studies, Grinols and Omorov (1995) used benefit-cost analysis to estimate the net economic effects of increasing access to casino gambling nationwide. They identified externality costs associated with pathological gambling, ranging from social service costs to criminal justice system costs to lost productivity.