Gambling is a game of chance, wherein gamblers bet against themselves, aiming to win a prize or something else of value. This game is widely used as a leisure activity in many countries. But it is also known to cause negative effects in the lives of individuals and their families. In some cases, the gambling can become addictive, causing financial problems for the individuals who engage in the activity.
There are three main types of gambling impacts. They are financial, social, and health. These are often classified according to the extent of their impacts. However, these are not always easy to measure. Therefore, an economic cost-benefit analysis is often applied to determine the positive and negative effects of gambling on the society.
Financial impacts include gambling revenues, tourism, and infrastructure costs. Some studies report that casinos have contributed to an increase in property prices. Other research shows that casino gambling has led to an increased need for public services. And the availability of gambling has been associated with an increase in problem gambling.
Social impacts are not usually well-defined. Many studies have examined the positive and negative effects of gambling on the individual, but they have not yet fully accounted for the social effects. It has been suggested that social inequality may be a risk factor for developing gambling disorders.
Compared to non-gamblers, recreational gamblers reported healthier and happier lives. The benefits of gambling also include enhancing self-concepts, reducing social isolation, and enhancing psychological wellbeing.
Negative gambling impacts include increases in poverty, decreased social capital, and increased problem gambling rates. Studies also suggest that increased gambling opportunities lead to greater social inequity. Similarly, increases in problem gambling rates have been linked to proximity to casinos.
Some consumers also use gambling as a form of escape from trouble. For instance, a gambler who has lost his or her job may turn to gambling to keep a positive outlook during difficult life circumstances. Another consumer uses gambling to avoid the consequences of an accident. Several forms of therapy have been developed for treating gambling disorders. Besides cognitive behavioral therapy, group and family therapy are also common.
Studies have measured the gambling impact at the interpersonal, community/society, and individual levels. The social impacts of gambling have been identified as the most important issue. Unfortunately, studies have often been too limited in their scope and have largely neglected the social consequences.
A conceptual model has been developed for gambling impact assessment. By using this model, it has been possible to examine the social, economic, and health impacts of gambling. The impact analysis can then be used as a basis for comparing the impact of different gambling policies.
Depending on the source of gambling revenues and the effectiveness of a gambling policy, the social, economic, and health impacts of betting can vary. However, the results of impact studies are useful for examining the positive and negative effects of gambling on the world. Furthermore, they can serve as reference for comparison with other impacts of alcohol, drugs, and other substances.