Costs and Benefits of Gambling


This article explores the costs and benefits of gambling. It explores how problem gambling, addiction, and legalized gambling impact society. It also addresses the question of whether gambling should be legalized. The article is divided into three parts:

Impacts of gambling on society

Gambling has negative effects on society on many levels, including personal and interpersonal. These effects manifest themselves on a variety of levels, from economic costs to benefits related to problem gambling. The economic costs of gambling are generally well-known and quantified, but there are other, less tangible impacts that have been overlooked. The social impacts of gambling, by contrast, are often overlooked and largely unquantified. This article outlines some of the social and economic impacts of gambling in three categories.

Increasing the availability of gambling in public places has caused a number of problems. The proliferation of legalized gambling has increased the cost of taxation. This means that the poor will be worse off after gambling. This can compound existing social welfare problems. Gambling is more common among disadvantaged socioeconomic groups, and state lotteries, in particular, are said to target these groups. Regardless of the causes of this social problem, legalized gambling is an ongoing source of problems for society.

Costs of problem gambling

The cost of problem gambling can be very difficult to estimate, largely due to the lack of a causal link between the behavior and the costs. In addition to the direct costs, some of the effects of problem gambling are associated with disorders or life circumstances, such as job loss and a lack of leisure time. Therefore, most studies discount costs by a causality adjustment factor. The method was developed by the Australian Productivity Commission in 1999, and it assumed that 80% of people with gambling problems would still experience the consequences of their behavior.

In Wisconsin, for example, Thompson et al. estimate the social costs of problem gambling at $307,023,246 per year. This figure reflects costs associated with four categories, but it could increase if the cost of problem gambling was included for non-pathological gamblers. For this study, the costs were estimated based on data collected in 1995, when Gamblers Anonymous surveyed its members. The respondents were mostly white and male, with an average problem gambling history of 6.5 years.

Costs of a gambling addiction

Problem gambling has a huge societal cost, but the direct costs of prevention and treatment are relatively low compared with the intangible ones. These costs could be reduced if more resources were invested in prevention and treatment. Several recent studies have found that problem gambling costs society between 0.3 and 1.0% of GDP. The costs of problem gambling may be even greater, as people suffering from it may suffer from physical and emotional harm.

As legal gambling spreads across the U.S., budgets for education and prevention are being cut. Despite this, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have pinpointed where the addiction occurs in the brain. In this article, they highlight the costs of gambling addiction and the hidden dangers of this social problem. Detailed information on the costs of problem gambling can be found in the resource box below. A few suggestions to avoid betting during Super Bowl can go a long way toward avoiding relapse.

Costs of legalized gambling

Legalized gambling brings both costs and benefits to society. The major benefits are the profits generated by businesses and governments, but the costs are primarily the destruction of vulnerable individuals. Historically, American society has made the trade-off between large sums of money now and social and financial crisis later. Legalized gambling is just one of many examples of this trend. Its popularity stems from our desire for risk and money. Yet, the costs are much higher than the benefits.

The study, authored by Grinols and Omorov, examined the costs to society of problem gambling. These costs included social and economic costs related to criminal justice, welfare, and employment. It estimated that illegal gambling costs the state between 0.3 percent and 1.0% of GDP each year. It also examined the costs associated with a subset of problem gamblers associated with American Indian casinos. The cost to employment reflects the annual cost of time lost to gambling and the unemployed compensation attributable to gambling.