Gambling has a wide range of social impacts. These impacts have been measured on an individual, interpersonal and societal level. The financial impact of gambling is obvious, including revenues and effects on other industries. It can also be seen in the change in value and financial status of assets and liabilities, contributing to economic activity. Other impacts include the impact on labor and health, including decreased performance, job gains, and personal welfare. These impacts are important to note and should not be overlooked when analyzing the social costs of gambling.
Research on the positive social impact of gambling has shown that revenues from gambling contribute to public services. Yet, fewer studies have examined the positive effects of gambling on gamblers. Nonetheless, we can use health-related quality of life (HRQOL) weights to quantify the negative impacts of gambling. These weights are useful in measuring the intangible costs of gambling, as well as discovering whether gambling affects the social networks of consumers. For example, a study of seniors reported that they felt better about themselves when gambling compared to nongamblers.
Some research suggests that problem gambling can lead to significant harm to significant others, including a spouse or child. The frequency of sexual assault and petty theft among family members is significantly increased with pathological gambling. Interestingly, there are also increased odds of severe marital and family violence, child abuse, and homicide. In fact, 58% of problem gamblers report experiencing physical or verbal violence with their spouse or partner. Further, a large proportion of problem gamblers experience financial losses related to gambling.
The most common form of gambling involves betting money. However, the game can also involve other items of value, such as tickets, property, or even a Green Card for foreign nationals. Even though the odds of winning are low, there is no way to guarantee that a person will win the lottery. Despite the risk of financial harm, the game is a fun way to pass the time. If done properly, gambling can be a lucrative pastime.
Several studies have examined the economic and social impacts of gambling. It is estimated that those working in the gambling industry earn a higher salary than non-gamblers. However, very few studies have examined the personal labor effects of gambling. This is mainly due to the small number of professional poker players in these studies. Nevertheless, the economic and social costs of gambling can still be positive for a community, even if they have negative social effects.
Although the prevalence of gambling varies, a recent study published in the journal Am J Psychiatry indicated that up to 4% of adult population suffer from some form of gambling problem. This figure was even lower for pathological gamblers. Despite these figures, many more people are suffering from the harms of gambling. This research highlights the importance of identifying and treating people who have gambling problems. Once you’ve ruled out any other cause, a healthy way to treat gambling is to find out if you’re a problem.