Gambling for money is a popular leisure time activity in most countries. The legal gambling market in 2009 was estimated at $335 billion. This represents a significant financial contribution to the economy and has positive effects on public services. Yet, gambling is also a major source of social and economic harms.
The economic and social costs of gambling are often hard to quantify. Studies have sought to assess the benefits and costs associated with gambling. Most have focused on the negative effects, however. Using a conceptual model of gambling, this article attempts to present a more balanced picture of the consequences of gambling.
In the economic cost-benefit analysis, the positive benefits of gambling are measured. These include health benefits, which are attributed to the psychological and social reinforcement that is provided by gambling. Compared to nongamblers, recreational gamblers have a higher score on health indicators, which may improve their self-concept and self-esteem. Additionally, there are negative consequences, such as reduced social isolation and decreased social integration.
While there is evidence that gambling has positive effects, there is a wide range of study that has analyzed the negative impacts of gambling. Studies have documented problems in the recreational/amusement sectors, as well as retail businesses. However, fewer studies have investigated the impact of gambling on the gambler.
One of the most important aspects of the concept of gambling is the social impact of gambling. Some studies have shown that problem gambling negatively affects the family, workplace, and community. It is not always the person who makes the decision to stop, but rather the other people involved.
For this reason, gambling impact studies are a critical component in gambling policy development. By understanding the varying effects of gambling on different populations, governments can determine which gambling policies are likely to reduce these impacts and increase the overall benefits.
A number of different impact metrics have been used to measure gambling’s contributions to society. For example, the concept of consumer surplus is often used to estimate the benefits of gambling. Consumer surplus is the difference between what a service or product is sold for and what a consumer is willing to pay.
Another measure of the impact of gambling is the health-related quality of life weights. These are also known as disability weights, as they measure the per-person burden of a health state on the quality of a person’s life.
According to one survey, about 60% of problem gamblers were out of work for more than a month. Problem gamblers were also more likely to report poorer job performance. Furthermore, 30% of problem gamblers received social benefits within the previous year.
A study by Williams et al. developed a conceptual model of gambling that can be applied to assess the effects of gambling on a society. This model, based on the public health perspective, is designed to evaluate the potential impact of gambling on a variety of factors, including personal, social, and societal.
Despite its various positive and negative consequences, gambling is a social and commercial activity that has a large economic impact on the global economy. Although studies have not yet been able to fully understand the impact of gambling on society, it is clear that gambling is an issue that deserves more attention than it receives.