Social Impacts of Gambling


While most studies have focused on the economic and social costs of gambling, many have overlooked the social impacts. In fact, social costs are often not quantified, and their impacts haven’t been defined in any study. To give social costs a proper definition, Walker and Barnett (2001) outlined social costs as harming someone, while benefiting nobody. Thus, social costs are social, rather than personal, costs associated with gambling. This article will briefly review the social costs of gambling.

Social impacts

There are many different types of social impacts of gambling. They can be positive or negative, depending on the situation. In some cases, gambling has negative social impacts, such as increased crime. Other times, it has positive social impacts, such as increased tourism. Regardless of the impact, it is important to understand the causes and consequences of gambling to determine whether or not it is a good or bad policy move. Here are some of the most common social impacts.

The economic and social costs of gambling are well-documented. They range from increased traffic congestion and higher costs of public infrastructure, to displaced residents and increased crime. Pathological gambling also increases the cost of credit throughout the economy. These impacts are not only harmful to the individual gambler, but also to their family members and the community as a whole. While these effects are often difficult to quantify, there is a growing body of research on the social effects of gambling.

Financial impacts

The financial costs of gambling are difficult to quantify. Unlike health costs, they cannot be calculated in terms of financial gains. The positive effects of gambling have been examined by various researchers, but few have looked at the negative consequences. Some studies look only at the economic benefit of gambling. Some have also looked at the societal costs of gambling. For example, problem gambling costs governments between $51 million and $243 million each year. This amount is not enough to measure the effects of gambling, as there are also negative impacts of gambling.

The introduction of gambling may increase local economic activity, with increases especially dramatic in small communities. However, gambling can also lead to substitutions in other sectors. Though there is some overlap, the impacts on each sector differ. Siegel and Anders found that gambling hurts the closest substitutes of traditional industries more than it hurts the more established ones. However, these economic impacts should not be taken at face value. Rather, they should be evaluated in context of the wider societal process, including the industry in question.

Health impacts

The early years of research on gambling harm have focused on identifying the specific health impacts of gambling. These early studies framed gambling as a public health issue, and the research provided a framework for understanding gambling from a social determinants of health perspective. The next decade of research is likely to focus on the causes of harm and how to reduce it. These findings will inform policy making regarding regulation of the gambling industry, gambling education, and evidence-based health care.

Public health measures are needed to address the harmful effects of gambling. The WHO Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion considers the social costs of gambling as a public health issue. These health impacts should be measured at all levels of risk, including individual, community, and institutional levels. While the WHO’s Framework for Action focuses on preventing harm, it also includes data on the social costs of gambling. Using the framework, policy makers can evaluate the effects of gambling on vulnerable groups, including children.

Criminality impacts

The effects of gambling on the criminality of a population can be positive or negative. Although illegal gambling is associated with an increased rate of crime, the positive effects of gambling outweigh the negative. However, it is important to consider that gambling can increase crime and tourism revenue. The impact of gambling on criminality has yet to be fully understood. This study provides further insights on the association between gambling and criminality. It highlights the need for further research to better understand the relationship between gambling and crime.

Crime rates have increased in communities near casinos. Some cities have experienced a corresponding increase in driving while intoxicated. Pathological gambling causes an estimated $1000 excess in police costs per person. Problem gambling costs the state anywhere from $51 million to $243 million per year. However, this increased crime rate may not be a permanent problem for the community. In some places, gambling has even been found to reduce criminal activity. It has been suggested that legal gambling may help reduce criminality and increase economic growth.