Cost-Benefit Analysis of Gambling


Many religious groups and denominations have taken a stand against gambling. The Mennonites, Schwarzenau Brethren, Quakers, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Church of Luther Confession, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are just a few. Some also cite the Most Holy Book, paragraph 155, as grounds against gambling. Some even go as far as banning casinos altogether.

Economic cost-benefit analysis

There are a variety of costs and benefits associated with gambling, which can be measured at multiple levels. Economic costs are measurable and include personal social capital loss and economic disruption. Social costs include changes in the status of an individual’s health, community cohesion, and community infrastructure. In addition to monetary costs, non-monetary costs include reduced productivity and performance, lost jobs, and diminished community infrastructure. The benefits of gambling are often overlooked and often have intangible effects that cannot be measured in a traditional cost-benefit analysis.

For example, a casino can affect local employment by reducing unemployment in the area. Many jobs at casinos require specialized skills. However, if a casino is located in a rural area, it will likely attract skilled labor from outside of the area, which may not have a negative effect on local unemployment. However, some benefits of gambling include the reduction of crime and increase in local property values. For this reason, an economic cost-benefit analysis should consider the benefits and drawbacks of allowing casinos to operate in an area.

Social cost-benefit analysis

Social cost-benefit analysis of gambling includes both direct and indirect effects. Direct and indirect costs are related to resources used. The benefits accrue to society as a whole can be measured through market prices. Intangible costs are a complex matter. Some of them, such as reduced quality of life, cannot be measured with existing market prices. This is why excluding intangible costs from a cost-benefit analysis is unsatisfactory. It implies that the economic value of quality of life is zero. Similarly, the costs of experiencing physical violence and emotional distress were valued based on the average compensation paid to victims of crimes.

Direct costs represent 13% of total societal costs. The results are comparable to those in Australia and the Czech Republic. The costs of prevention and treatment of gambling problems account for 0.5% of total societal costs. However, it’s important to note that costs incurred through prevention and treatment are under-reported in many studies. It’s also important to remember that the cost of gambling may be understated by some people due to recall bias and dishonest responses.

Treatment of problem gambling

A range of intervention techniques has been used for problem gambling, including counselling, support groups and medication. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that GPs be involved in screening patients for gambling-related problems. Simple one-item screening instruments are now available to help GPs identify patients at risk. There are also proven and lasting psychological treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapy and motivational interviewing. These interventions can be used in conjunction with one another.

The scope of treatments varies by type and location. The broadest definition of treatment is an interdisciplinary approach that includes activities for individuals, groups and communities. Comprehensive treatment programs generally move through three stages: intervention, rehabilitation and maintenance. However, this approach varies greatly depending on the provider’s philosophy and setting. This is the main reason why there has been no comprehensive treatment for pathological gambling. However, it is worth noting that there are a number of state-level programs that have successfully treated pathological gamblers.