Costs and Benefits of Gambling


The effects of gambling can be categorized into three classes: personal, interpersonal, and societal. Personal impacts include changes in financial situations and revenues, while societal impacts include costs to infrastructure and economic activity. Other impacts can be observed in the form of health and well-being, productivity, and health and safety issues. There are many factors that contribute to the societal impacts of gambling. Listed below are some of these. Further, this article discusses the costs and benefits of gambling.

Responsible gambling

Responsible gambling is a set of social responsibility initiatives implemented by the gambling industry, including gaming control boards, governments, operators, and vendors. These initiatives are meant to raise awareness about the harms associated with gambling and how to reduce these harms. While responsible gambling isn’t a cure-all, it is an important first step towards reducing harms associated with gambling. To do this, the industry must first recognize the extent of the problem.

Pathological gambling

The DSM-IV lists ten symptoms that are consistent with pathological gambling. The symptoms are all consistent with the definition, but statistical analyses have shown that there is only one underlying construct. Pathological gambling is primarily associated with men, as up to 73% have a comorbid alcohol or substance use disorder. However, there are some key differences between the pathological gambler and non-gamblers. These differences make pathological gambling harder to diagnose.

Legalized gambling in the United States

While the critics of gambling say it increases crime, promotes compulsive gambling, and is a regressive tax on local economies, many states have legalized various forms of gambling. Some states, like New Jersey, have even created casinos resembling riverboats. In addition, many states have licensed Native American tribes to run casinos. And, finally, Massachusetts is preparing to open its first land-based casino later this year.

Costs of gambling

In addition to direct costs, there are intangible costs associated with gambling problems. Intangible costs, like the loss of quality of life, are impossible to quantify with current market prices because they are not tangible. The value of one hour of lost production is based on the average gross salary of a person plus social security contributions. This calculation ignores double counting of costs associated with gambling problems, which may be significantly higher than the direct cost of the problem.

Impacts of problem gambling

The economic and social costs of problem gambling are largely unknown in research. Despite this, it has been found that casinos increase the incidence of problem gambling. These costs include long-term and invisible individual costs. Furthermore, increasing access to gambling opportunities has been linked to increased social inequality. Inequality is the main cause of increased problem gambling and increased access to casinos tends to benefit richer households, while poorer households lose more income due to problem gambling. According to one study, 12.6% of all gambling losses are borne by the poorest households.