There are many impacts of gambling, ranging from the individual to the community and society. Some of these impacts are immediate, while others affect the individuals or communities who are close to the gamblers. Gambling can lead to financial ruin and homelessness. The effects of gambling on the community are often complex, and the costs and benefits of gambling may be quite diverse.
Negative impacts of gambling on people
Among the many negative impacts of gambling, the repercussions on relationships and family life are particularly severe. These effects include significant distress and a loss of trust. They undermine self-identity, create additional conflicts within relationships, and even lead to separation and divorce. In some cases, gambling has even led to the financial ruin of people. Public health initiatives can protect families from these problems.
Some studies have shown that gambling increases the risk of violent crime and criminal behavior. A Danish population-based study showed an association between problem gambling and violent crime. Other studies have examined how the proximity of casinos affects crime rates. Other researchers have investigated how increased access to gambling affects social inequality. Higher-income households spend more money on gambling and lose more income than lower-income families. Further, problem gambling can lead to criminal acts in the workplace.
Positive impacts of gambling on employment
The question of whether legalized gambling has positive or negative impacts on employment and the economy is not easy to answer. While some studies show that legalized gambling does benefit local economies, others have questioned the legitimacy of this approach. Critics have accused the industry of overstating positive impacts and underplaying the negative. They say that the industry tends to focus on localized economic factors and ignore strategic business-economic costs.
Casinos can improve local employment rates by attracting skilled labor. While most casino jobs require some level of skill, the impact on employment is less evident in rural areas where fewer skilled workers reside. Instead, these casinos may attract higher-skilled workers from outside the area.
Cost-benefit analysis of gambling
Several factors need to be considered when conducting a cost-benefit analysis of gambling. It is important to understand the economic costs and benefits of gambling, as well as how it affects the economy and society. Among other things, the impact of gambling on the economy and society includes the cost of jobs, government revenue, and consumer surplus. The social costs of gambling are also important to consider, and can include the negative effects on social and individual well-being.
Despite these negative effects, gambling has a number of positive effects. Studies have attempted to assess the social effects of gambling, but have found limited systematic data. Moreover, few studies have tested the assumptions that they use. This results in estimates that often reflect the bias of the analyst. For example, critical estimates from one study have been applied to completely different conditions, leading to a misleading conclusion.
Social costs of gambling
One study examined the social costs of gambling. It showed that a significant portion of the costs a country incurs from gambling are intangible. These costs, such as suicide and relationship breakdowns, cannot be measured accurately. However, it did identify a range of estimated social costs and benefits. These ranges are similar to those of Czech Republic and Australia.
These costs can include increased risk of death and suicide for people with gambling problems. A Swedish registry study estimated that the risk was 15.1 times higher than for the general population. Both completed suicides and suicide attempts requiring medical treatment constitute direct and indirect costs. Moreover, the study also estimates that people with gambling problems experience physical violence or threats of violence on a regular basis.