Gambling is a fun and social activity that enables a person to play a game of chance for a prize or money. It is an activity which requires a decision, a risk, and a strategy. Although gambling has the potential to be an addictive disorder, it can also have positive effects.
Among the negative impacts of gambling, one can distinguish between the financial, the social, and the health impacts. Generally, financial impacts are monetary in nature, while the social and health impacts are nonmonetary. The financial impacts include gambling revenues, gambling taxes, and changes in financial situations.
In addition, some consumers use gambling to escape problems. For example, they may gamble to alleviate boredom, to seek an alternative form of entertainment, or to escape from their everyday routines. They can also use gambling to provide a psychological stimulus, which can reinforce their self-concept.
Studies on the impact of gambling have focused mainly on economic costs. However, research on the impact of gambling also explores the impact of its social and health effects. A number of factors influence the impact of gambling on society, including the source of gambling revenues, the availability of the activities, and the effectiveness of gambling policy.
In order to better assess the gambling impact, a conceptual model has been proposed. It aims to integrate a public health approach with a cost-benefit analysis. This approach is commonly used in alcohol and drug research.
Economic cost-benefit analysis assesses the harms of gambling to the individual and the society. It assigns value to intangible harms. These intangible harms are not directly measurable, but they are observable. Some of these harms include the pain experienced by problem gamblers, and the suffering caused by other people who interact with them.
One of the main challenges in the assessment of the gambling impact is determining how to measure the social impacts. Most studies have focused on the costs of gambling, but there is no consensus on how to determine the social impacts.
To quantify the effects of gambling on the societal level, a conceptual model was proposed by Williams et al. Their model divides gambling impacts into three categories: financial, social, and health. Specifically, the financial impacts are based on gambling revenues, tourism, and infrastructure costs. Similarly, the social and health impacts are categorized as individual costs, interpersonal costs, and community/society costs.
Despite the fact that gambling has the potential to be an addictive behavior, it has been observed that it has the ability to contribute to the economic development of a country. Studies show that its revenues have positive implications for the public services. Also, gambling revenues can be directed towards beneficial causes.
The social and health impacts of gambling are not as numerous as those relating to its economic and financial impacts. Still, a wide range of studies have been conducted, with the aim of understanding the gambling impacts. As a result, there are a variety of sources for information.