The Social and Emotional Impacts of Gambling


There are many reasons that people gamble, including social and emotional benefits. For some, gambling is a way to deal with unpleasant feelings or socialize with other people. Others, however, use gambling as a self-soothing activity to deal with boredom or uncomfortable emotions. In these cases, non-gambling activities such as exercise, time with friends, and relaxation techniques are good alternatives. For those with an unhealthy gambling habit, counseling can help them stop and control their behavior.

Social impacts of gambling

Social impacts of gambling are often difficult to measure. While they have been observed at the individual, interpersonal, and community level, they are most often not recognized. Gambling impacts are manifested on different levels, such as: individual and interpersonal costs, economic activity, and community costs. Social impacts include long-term costs, such as increased crime and societal expenses. In addition, there are important methodological issues associated with the measurement of gambling impacts.


The costs of gambling have been attributed to reduced workplace productivity and emotional distress. These costs represent work that could have been done if the gambler had not been affected by gambling problems. Various studies have indicated that the cost of gambling outweighs its benefits by as much as three to one. For instance, the presence of casinos is linked to higher rates of violent, property, and non-violent crimes. About nine percent of property crimes are directly linked to casino locations, and 13 percent of violent crime.


Many people do not realize the health benefits of gambling. According to a recent study in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, those who gambled often had lower rates of depression and self-reported health. This is likely due to the fact that gambling stimulates the brain’s production of happy chemicals. Fortunately, these benefits do not apply to every gambler. Some people, however, find that their gambling habit provides them with many benefits.

Limitations of previous studies

Prior studies have been largely limited by their methods of design. For example, there are several limitations to previous studies of gambling. Many of these studies have not been conducted in the United States or Canada, and as a result the findings may not be relevant to those who live in these countries. However, recent research has brought new insights into the topic of gambling. For example, studies by Delfabbro and King and Shannon et al. have identified risk factors for gambling addiction.

Treatment options

Many people have no idea that there are several treatment options for gambling addiction. Although some people may feel that they can simply get rid of their gambling habits on their own, this is not true. A professional can help people learn how to manage their finances and stop gambling. Other treatment options, including support groups, can provide emotional support to those who are struggling with gambling addiction. And for those who are concerned about their loved one’s recovery, family and friends’ support is essential.