Gambling can have negative or positive impacts on individuals, communities, and the economy. The positive and negative effects of gambling can be categorized as costs or benefits, financial, labor, health, and well-being, or societal. The impacts of gambling are personal, interpersonal, and societal, and can range from short-term to long-term. Listed below are some of the impacts of gambling:
Impacts of gambling on health
The emotional and financial consequences of binge gambling are enormous. The inability to control the urge to gamble leads to a mental health problem. Gambling addiction can affect any person, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. A study conducted by the National Council on Problem Gaming revealed that two million Americans suffer from pathological gambling every year. While the effects are common in most people, these symptoms can affect anyone, regardless of gender, income, or age.
Although the prevalence of problem gambling is different among countries, most studies indicate that it affects as much as 4% of the population. But many more people suffer from problems related to gambling than this percentage. There is no universal definition of pathological gambling, but researchers have identified three pathways to gambling problems: common types of gambling, perceived skill gambling, and social and economic problems. By identifying the common characteristics of problem gamblers, researchers can develop preventive measures that can address the problem.
Impacts of gambling on small businesses
Gambling can have many impacts on both businesses and communities. The community’s total economic impact from gambling-related productivity losses is estimated at approximately US$ 6 million to $39 million. In Victoria, the total cost of gambling-related absenteeism is nearly $46 million. In addition, the total cost of gambling-related crime was approximately $22.5 million in 2014-15. Moreover, the social care costs of problem gamblers are also estimated to be about $28 million.
There are both positive and negative effects associated with gambling. The financial harms of gambling are greater among those living in lower socioeconomic classes and in deprived areas. People suffering from psychotic disorders and problem gambling are particularly susceptible to financial hardship. It is difficult to determine the causality between gambling and economic loss. Other factors, such as poor health, may influence the development of problem gambling and increase poverty. Regardless, gambling affects the bottom line and causes a wide range of social costs.
Impacts of gambling on mental health
The effects of gambling on mental health are numerous and varied. Gambling disorders tend to affect men more than women, though this gap is narrowing. The genetics of gambling disorders are unknown, but they are believed to be about 50 percent hereditary and 50% environmental. Gamblers often abuse drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and many also suffer from mood disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Eventually, a gambling addiction can affect all aspects of a person’s life. It can ruin their relationships, finances, careers, and even personal health. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, lists some signs of a gambling addiction. These include missing family events, overeating, losing their appetite, increasing drug and alcohol use, neglecting children, and lying or stealing to pay for gambling. Other symptoms include headaches and emotional withdrawal.
Impacts of gambling on employment
There are many negative consequences of problem gambling, both for the individual and the economy. The effects of gambling range from increased crime to higher bankruptcy rates. Though the positive effects of gambling are relatively short-lived, the negative impacts are permanent. As such, policymakers must consider both the long-term and the reversible costs of problem gambling before implementing new policies. While the impact of problem gambling on employment is often underestimated, it does affect the quality of life in both the individual and the community.
The social costs of gambling are also important to understand. Problem gambling can negatively impact not just an individual but an entire generation. The economic and social consequences of gambling can range from short-term to long-term, and may cause a host of negative effects ranging from poverty to unemployment. In this article, we discuss some of the key effects of problem gambling and how we can mitigate those consequences, as well as the ways we can improve our communities while reducing the negative effects of gambling.