Gambling is a type of entertainment that involves risking something of value to get a prize. It is also a way to socialize and unwind. However, it has many negative effects on societies and the individual.
The effects of gambling on societies and the individual can vary depending on a number of factors. Most studies focus on gambling’s financial and labor impacts. However, intangible harms may affect gamblers and others in society. These effects include suffering and pain from problem gamblers. Illicit lending, petty theft, and family violence are also possible harms of gambling.
Some research has also investigated the positive effects of gambling. For example, a recent study found that past year gamblers age 65 and older had better overall health than nongamblers. Similarly, another study showed that gambling contributed to perceived wellness among senior Australians. Ultimately, these findings show that gambling can have a positive effect on the self-concept of senior citizens, especially those from low socioeconomic status.
However, there is still a large gap in research on the social impacts of gambling. In the past, gambling impacts were measured using a cost-of-illness approach, which focused on the harms of gambling without assessing its benefits. While this approach may be useful in alcohol and drug research, it neglects the beneficial side of gambling.
Gambling impacts are classified into three categories: economic, labor, and social. Economic impacts are manifested on the societal level, and they are generally monetary in nature.
Among the economic impacts are gambling revenues, which are generated by commercial gambling operators. Commercial operators typically charge a fee for the opportunity to play. If a bettor wins, the money is usually redistributed. Gamblers are charged an average of 12.6% of the turnover. This amount is known as the consumer surplus. Gambling generates a consumer surplus of $8-$11 billion per year in Australia.
Labor impacts include lowered productivity and reduced performance. Gambling can also affect families, friends, and close neighbors. Individuals who have problems with gambling have higher rates of petty theft and intimate partner violence. They are also more likely to be bankrupt.
Social impacts of gambling are often hard to quantify, as they are not monetary in nature. This is because not all gamblers are equally likely to win. Even if all gamblers were equally likely to win, the results could be unpredictable due to a bettor’s miscalculation.
Gambling’s effects on the individual can be either positive or negative. There have been studies that examine gambling’s impact on the health of individuals, such as gambling as a risk factor for developing a gambling addiction, and those that examine the mental health of gamblers. Studies have shown that pathological gambling is associated with increased odds of severe marital violence, child abuse, and dating violence.
Studies have also examined the impact of gambling on communities, such as the effect of casinos on crime rates and other social problems. Research has also found that casino expansion has negatively affected small businesses, especially those in the tourism and retail sectors. Those businesses have higher operating costs and are more likely to have problems with inflation and staff retention.