The economic, social, and environmental impacts of gambling are discussed in this article. Those impacts can be divided into two categories: positive and negative. They are financial and labor impacts, health and well-being, and societal and cultural impacts. Interpersonal and personal impacts are considered as internal, whereas external impacts include society/community impacts. Gambling’s impacts on social capital are considered external. Moreover, long-term effects of gambling are also included.
Economic cost-benefit analysis
While the economic benefits of gambling are clear, the negative effects are hard to quantify and not included in standard cost-benefit analyses. The social costs of gambling are a complex mix of interrelated processes that affect crime, financial hardship, and interpersonal relations. A clearer understanding of the costs of gambling can help determine the appropriate policies and programs for the future. Here are some common costs of gambling:
Tax revenue generated by casinos can have a positive impact on the local economy, but it is important to note that these taxes are not new money for society. Casinos pay taxes to local and state governments, but that money does not directly benefit the communities they are in. While casinos may be a source of employment, they are not creating any new money. In addition, the costs of gambling do not directly contribute to crime.
Psychological factors that can contribute to pathological gambling include anti-anxiety medications and depression. A person’s locus of control also plays a role. People who believe their actions caused the outcome are said to have an internal locus of control. Conversely, individuals with an external locus of control believe the outcome was determined by forces outside their control. Pathological gamblers often experience mania or depressive episodes. A common diagnostic tool for pathological gambling is the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) or California Personality Inventory, but it does not address gambling-specific characteristics. Another symptom of pathological gambling is chasing, which involves placing larger bets and taking higher risks than normal.
While gambling is a fun activity, it can have negative consequences. The most apparent consequences of pathological gambling are accumulated debt and financial losses. This behavior can snatch away a person’s entire financial portfolio in hours. Some gamblers have lost their life savings during one gambling session. While financial consequences are particularly important for senior gamblers, younger gamblers may be able to stabilize their debt and live a normal life.
Impacts on employment
Although there is no single measurable answer to the question of the effects of gambling on employment, some studies have provided useful information on the subject. While economic studies have focused on the effects on individual households, others have looked at the social and societal impacts of gambling. These studies have been inconclusive, however, as they do not account for differences in geographical scope, expenditure substitution, and tangible versus intangible impacts. These findings also do not provide any policy recommendations.
Gambling’s negative effects are numerous, and they vary from person-to-person. In terms of finances, these consequences are most visible in the amount of revenue that a given company can generate. Those impacted by gambling may experience homelessness and other negative effects that lead to social unrest and crime. In addition to employment losses, problem gambling can also lead to homelessness. Those who lose their jobs as a result of gambling often report having poorer performance at work. Even worse, these gamblers may engage in criminal activities at work.
Impacts on social capital
The spread of casino gambling is a growing issue in several countries. In addition to the financial benefits, it can also affect social capital, which is the collective effectiveness of individuals in a community. Recent studies have linked higher social capital levels with better quality of life. Social capital measures six different dimensions, including trust, volunteerism, civic participation, family obligations, and giving to charity. The impact of casino gambling on social capital can have a profound effect on the quality of life in a community.
The negative social impact of casino gambling is based on the attitudes of those who participate in the industry and on objective judgment. For example, the item “do I like working in the gaming industry?” was only correlated with negative effects for those who dislike working in the sector. These factors may differ in terms of social values or moral standards, which are a part of the assessment of social capital. Although the economic costs of gambling are generally measurable, the negative impact is less evident for those who do not frequent casinos.