Problem gambling is a growing problem that has various causes, but no single cause is completely blameless. Nevertheless, it is often a form of self-soothe. The act of gambling provides an outlet for unpleasant emotions and allows people to spend time with others who do not gamble. Some effective ways to relieve boredom and get rid of your urge to gamble are to exercise, hang out with non-gambling friends, or practice relaxation techniques.
Economic and social impacts of gambling are often overlooked, particularly in cost-benefit analysis. While the economic costs of gambling are important, social costs may also be significant. For instance, a problem gambler’s behavior could result in negative consequences for future generations. A thorough economic cost-benefit analysis of gambling should also consider social costs, as they may affect future regulation of gambling. As a result, gambling is often considered a beneficial activity by politicians and the public.
Although numerous studies have attempted to estimate the social costs of gambling, most have been inconclusive. A lack of rigorous data and the tendency to substitute assumptions has resulted in estimates that reflect analyst bias. In fact, one study’s critical estimates have been applied to totally different circumstances. Therefore, these results are often misleading. Therefore, researchers should make sure to conduct comprehensive studies to fully understand the social costs and benefits of gambling.
The potential to make money from gambling is a big incentive for people to participate. However, it also carries a high risk of addiction. Consequently, the social costs of gambling are not easily quantified. For example, a study by Thompson and Schwer in Southern Nevada found that each compulsive gambler imposes $19,711 in social costs on the community. This figure does not include the benefits to individuals, such as the reduction of stress and depression.
The negative social effects of gambling include an increase in social services. Increased gambling access, casino proximity, and a greater range of gambling opportunities have all been associated with increased problem gambling. Gambling also contributes to social inequality, as higher income households spend more on gambling and poorer families lose more money from it. Moreover, the costs of gambling-related crime and suicide were estimated to be about $22.5 million per year in 2014-2015.
Treatments for problem gambling
Treatments for problem gambling vary widely. People with gambling disorder may feel compelled to gamble, find it difficult to stop, and even lie about their addiction. Such behavior can be destructive and lead to significant debt. Treatments may include counseling or therapy with a gambling therapist. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible because a gambling addiction can result in significant harm to a person’s finances, relationships, and self-esteem.
Although a significant proportion of individuals with gambling disorders do not seek formal treatment, psychological treatments can help. Research has shown that these approaches can help people achieve sustainable results and are well-accepted by the sufferers. The authors examine the different types of psychological treatments for gambling disorders, ranging from lower intensity self-help and brief interventions to higher intensity, intensive sessions with a licensed psychologist. There is a range of treatment options available, from brief self-help programs to cognitive behavioral therapy and even mindfulness practices.
Research into the social impacts of gambling
The social impact of casino gambling has been the subject of much research. It has been found that casino gambling can affect a community’s quality of life in both positive and negative ways. According to Giacopassi and colleagues (2012), residents in seven new casino jurisdictions in the USA were generally in favor of the establishments. 65% of them said they were a good thing for the local economy and the quality of life in their communities. Similarly, Gonzales, Lyson, and Mauer (2013) found that casinos have improved the quality of life of residents of both Indian and non-Indian populations.
While the gambling addiction can be a source of financial hardship for the gambler, the negative effects on the broader society can be equally troubling. Gamblers often isolate themselves from family members and friends to feed their addiction. This causes relationships to break down and unpaid bills to pile up. They can hide their problem in their social circles for years without revealing their behavior. Research into the social impacts of gambling has shown that the gamblers’ families are often not happy.