The social impacts of gambling have received little attention in studies of this activity. They have been focused mainly on its economic benefits or costs. Although there are few studies that measure these impacts, Williams et al. and Walker and Barnett have attempted to define the social costs of gambling. They define social costs as those that are not directly personal, but whose effect is felt by others.
Incidence of problem gambling
Problem gambling affects the lives of two million Americans. An additional six to eight million people suffer from life-altering problems related to gambling. Nearly half of all people have gambled at some point in their lives. Of those, about 60 percent have done so within the past year. Problem gamblers are more likely to experience suicidal ideation than nongamblers. In fact, about one in 10 of these individuals will commit suicide during their lifetime.
There are several treatments for problem gambling. These include counseling, step-based programs, self-help and peer-support, and medication. However, no one treatment is effective for all patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not approve of any medications for treating pathological gambling.
Impact of problem gambling on crime
A review of the literature on the impact of problem gambling on crime found that crime-related activities are associated with problem gambling. Problem gamblers may resort to illegal activities to make up for their financial shortfalls. While crime-related activities are often non-violent income-generating offences, problem gamblers may also commit violent crimes. This higher rate of violence is likely due to underreporting of gambling-related crime.
There are many costs associated with problem gambling. These costs are mostly non-monetary, and include invisible individual and community costs. Some invisible costs become visible at the social and societal level, such as in the case of a gambler’s family and friends. Others, however, remain hidden costs.
Impact of problem gambling on tourism
While gambling can have positive effects on a person’s mental health, it also has negative consequences on society. It can also have negative consequences on a person’s finances and overall well-being. While it is difficult to quantify the exact impact of gambling on a community’s tourism revenue, we can estimate the social costs and benefits.
The financial costs of gambling are significant. It can cause a person to become over-indebted, deplete household funds, and even lead to homelessness. It’s also associated with criminal behaviour and job loss, especially among the poorest members of society.
Impact of problem gambling on small businesses
The economic impact of problem gambling can be quantified in various ways, depending on the level of gambling. The impacts may range from short-term costs to long-term benefits. These impacts may be financial, social, and labor-related. Some of these impacts may be positive while others may be negative.
Gambling can affect the bottom line of small businesses on several levels. The negative impacts have been mainly observed in retail businesses and the recreational/amusement sector. These impacts often include problems with retention of staff, high costs of shop rents, and increased expenses associated with operating costs.