The Costs of Gambling
There are many benefits of gambling, but there are also costs associated with it. The social and economic costs of gambling are often ignored in gambling studies. Williams et al., in their study on the social costs of gambling, define social costs as harm that is caused to people and society as a whole, rather than to a specific individual.
While the economic costs and benefits of gambling are well-known, studies have not accounted for social impacts. Some costs are invisible, while others are associated with problem gambling and can be quite long-lasting. These costs can become more obvious when a gambler seeks treatment and supports from family and friends, but many remain largely hidden. There are several types of social impacts, ranging from health and labor effects to tourism costs.
One approach to studying social impacts of gambling is to use the cost of illness approach, a common method in alcohol and drug research. However, this method does not fully account for the social benefits of gambling and tends to focus on the negative effects. As a result, it does not consider the benefits of gambling, and often ignores the harms suffered by nongamblers. Additionally, this method has methodological flaws, which may skew current knowledge.
The financial and employment impacts of gambling are well-documented, but fewer studies have examined the personal labor effects. Those studies that have looked at personal labor costs have tended to focus on professional poker players. But it is possible that a small percentage of gambling goes beyond professional poker players. Regardless, these activities have important economic and social impacts.
Gross impact studies, on the other hand, tend to focus on a single aspect of the economic impact of gambling. They fail to provide a balanced view of the entire picture, and instead focus almost entirely on identifying the benefits of gambling and neglecting the costs. They also do not take into account other important aspects of the economic analysis, such as the geographic scope of the study and the distinction between direct and indirect effects.
The health impacts of gambling are significant and can adversely affect the opportunities of individuals, families and communities. It is important to measure the impact of gambling harm to compare it to the burden of other health conditions. For this reason, it is appropriate to apply the burden of disease approach. A new tool called the Short Gambling Harm Screen (SGHS) has been developed to measure gambling harms in population surveys.
This approach has several shortcomings. It is non-systematic and relies on extensive experience of the authors. Further, it is possible that other relevant sources of data may have been missed. Despite the limitations of the literature review, the goal of the paper was to map the overall trajectory of research in the field of gambling and to set an appropriate framework for public health interventions. This would help identify problems earlier and respond more effectively to reduce harm.
Costs of gambling can be a major concern for society. The losses from compulsive gambling and the related economic damage are considerable, particularly for employers. In one study, one-fourth to one-third of gambling problem sufferers reported losing their jobs. According to Thompson et al., an average gambler costs employers more than $1,300 in lost labor each month. These lost labor costs add up to more than $1 billion annually.
The costs of gambling are complex, but can be understood by looking at the societal benefits and costs of a particular activity. The literature on the social costs of pathological gambling focuses on financial hardships, crime, and disruptions of relationships. Most studies, however, have small samples and lack controls.
There are many benefits of gambling, but there are also costs associated with it. The social and economic costs of gambling are often ignored in gambling studies. Williams et al., in their study on the social costs of gambling, define social costs as harm that is caused to people and society as a whole, rather…