The effects of gambling on individuals, communities, and society are often unclear. In this article, we examine the economic, social, and health impacts of gambling. To better understand the extent to which gambling affects our society, we should first explore the individual costs of gambling. We then look at the society/community-level costs and benefits of gambling. As the list grows, the external costs of gambling will become increasingly clear. These costs and benefits are not only monetary but also include benefits that arise from problem gambling.
Impacts of gambling on health
Although widely accepted as an innocent past time, evidence is growing that link gambling to domestic violence, child abuse, and suicide. Pathological gambling is estimated to result in the suicide of 200 Canadians each year and five times as many attempts as recreational gambling. Public opinion of gambling is mixed in Canada. Many view it as a harmless hobby, but growing evidence points to its negative health effects. In addition to the negative impact on health, gambling has significant social costs.
In studies of gambling’s effect on health, the PGSI and SGHS were used to estimate the impact of gambling on the overall wellbeing of the population. Both measures were designed to capture both harm and benefit in the broader sense, as the SGHS measure gambling harm while the PGSI measure problem gambling. These two measures of gambling harm and health are highly correlated, and the results of these studies suggest that they may be related to the reduction in wellbeing.
Economic impact of gambling
There are many aspects of the economic impact of gambling, from its effects on individual lives and the economy to the social and moral costs. These impacts may be positive or negative, and affect more than just the gambler. They are generally measured at the individual, interpersonal, and community levels, and may affect multiple generations of people. Many of these effects are also invisible to the individual, but they can become evident in the aggregate. This paper examines the economic impacts of gambling on several different levels.
Governments regulate the industry, in part to protect the functions of the industry, and to maintain social stability. With increased gambling supply comes increased costs. Regulation costs are not limited to increased supply; governments must also allocate resources for research and professional training in the area. While gambling is legal in Australia, there are countless ways in which it can harm someone. The Victorian Government, for example, spent $52 million on gambling services in 2014-15. Further, gambling is associated with increased crime and suicide, which have major economic and social consequences.
Social impact of gambling
Whether or not gambling is illegal is debatable. Studies have shown that it increases the incidence of crime. Other studies have found that gambling increases tourism, which in turn benefits society. Yet the most widely discussed effect is the increase in crime caused by gambling. The negative impacts of gambling are often more difficult to quantify, and many factors are unknown. This paper will discuss some of the key challenges in measuring the social impact of gambling. It will also provide an overview of the economic costs and benefits of gambling, as well as identify how the activity impacts the community and society as a whole.
The economic costs of gambling are considerable. In Australia, casino gambling leads to a significant increase in crime and the demand for social services. Increased access to gambling opportunities increases social inequality. Poorer households lose more income than higher-income households due to gambling. Problem gambling accounts for at least one-third of all crime in Australia, and costs the prison system between $51 million and $243 million a year. Some researchers say that casinos help reduce crime, but this has not been proven.