Most studies on gambling have focused on the economic benefits and costs of gambling, but have failed to examine the social consequences. As a result, this section will focus on social costs of gambling, which are harms that occur to someone other than the person who gambles. In addition, it will describe the impact of gambling on employment, public services, and tourism.
Problem gambling is a serious problem that can cause financial, social, legal, and emotional problems for the person who has it. The condition can be mild or severe, and it can worsen over time. Previously known as pathological gambling, problem gambling is now recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as an Impulse Control Disorder.
Problem gambling often begins as an attempt to escape from problems or negative feelings. These people may experience anxiety and depression. They may be less engaged in school, and often form groups that encourage gambling.
Impacts on public services
Impacts of gambling on public services are a complex issue requiring comprehensive planning and coordinated action. Although federal funds are not allocated to combat problem gambling, state and local governments have made significant investments in infrastructure and funding for problem gambling programs. To date, 40 states have invested in problem gambling infrastructure, and 17 states have funded full-time state employees to administer problem gambling programs. Despite this significant investment, per capita spending on problem gambling programs remains low, at approximately $0.37 per person.
The evidence base on the harms of gambling is increasing, but the challenges associated with gambling are unique. Rapid technological change and the growth of on-line gambling have increased the need for research and evidence-based policy. Therefore, policy makers should adopt a ‘health-in-all-policy’ approach to gambling and use the most up-to-date evidence to guide future decisions.
Impacts on employment
The social costs of gambling are difficult to quantify, but can range from reduced wages to increased stress levels. The social costs of gambling can also impact small and medium businesses. A conceptual model of these costs can aid in formulating public policy. This article outlines some of the major impacts of gambling on employment.
Social costs of gambling are difficult to measure, but they are nonetheless significant. A study in Sweden estimated the societal cost of problem gambling at EUR1419 million in 2018. The cost of problem gambling includes both direct and indirect costs. The direct costs of gambling affect individuals and the economy, while the indirect costs have a broader impact. These costs are often not measurable and deserve more attention.
Impacts on tourism
Gambling has both positive and negative impacts on tourism. In many countries, it boosts tourism by bringing in new revenue, but in other places, it has negative social impacts, such as outmigration and crime. The effects of gambling on tourism cannot be measured precisely, but a balanced analysis should take the benefits of gambling and its negative impacts into consideration.
The negative impacts of gambling can affect other industries within a country. However, the positive impacts of casinos in nearby areas benefit other industries. This is because casinos provide jobs for local residents and provide a recreational venue. Many countries have sought to diversify their tourism industries near casinos to balance the impact of gambling.