The Social Effects of Gambling


Studies on gambling have mostly focused on its economic costs and benefits and have not considered the social effects of gambling. These effects have not been defined by the studies, but the term “social cost” has been used by Walker and Barnett (2001) and Williams et al. (2001). According to these authors, social costs involve the harm caused to someone or no one, and are considered social rather than personal.

Social acceptability

The social acceptability of gambling is a key indicator of whether or not the activity is considered acceptable in a society. While most gamblers enjoy their game responsibly, a small percentage develops problem gambling habits that can impact their health, relationships, and economic status. A recent study by McGill University suggests that there are several ways to increase the social acceptability of gambling, including educating children and parents about the risks and benefits of playing games of chance.

The study found that adolescents were more likely to participate in gambling in communities where gambling was considered socially acceptable. Although the research did not find a clear association between social acceptability and gambling risks, it did find that adolescents were likely to bet on state lotteries and were not likely to develop compulsive gambling habits. It is important to note, however, that further research is needed to evaluate whether the social acceptability of gambling among adolescents is increasing.

Addiction potential

While gambling is a popular form of entertainment, it also carries a risk of addiction. Gambling has the potential to destroy a person’s finances and cause them emotional distress. Moreover, it is never in a person’s best interest to gamble. The house always wins in gambling.

There is also a risk that government entities can become addicted to gambling. New Zealand has led the way in developing a public health approach that aims to raise awareness of the addiction potential of gambling. The APA’s decision is based on several recent studies showing that gambling and drug addiction share many similarities. Specifically, the two addictions share similar genetic predispositions to reward seeking and impulsivity. In addition, both addictive behaviors lead to withdrawal symptoms when individuals separate from their substances of choice.

Costs to society

The costs of gambling affect individuals, families, and society in many ways. These costs include lost productivity, job losses, and damage to communities. While some of these costs are visible, many remain hidden. The costs of gambling are both monetary and non-monetary. Several studies have attempted to estimate these costs. Some have used a bottom-up approach, in which costs are multiplied by the number of affected individuals. Other studies use state-level data to estimate costs.

There is no doubt that gambling can reduce an individual’s productivity, and problem gamblers are known to spend a significant portion of their time dealing with crisis or financial losses. Researchers from Quebec estimate that the productivity of a single employee with a gambling problem reduces by five hours each month. This could equate to over $5 million in lost wages for a person earning $30k a year. In addition, some employees may embezzle company funds to finance their gambling behavior.

Cheating potential

Gamblers who have the potential to cheat may use several different strategies. These include purchasing large chips from one table and using them at another table, and past-posting and other tricks. The casinos have a great toolbox for analyzing cheating discourse, and it may be helpful to use that toolkit to better understand the act of cheating.

Costs to individuals

The costs of gambling to individuals can be high. People who are unable to save money, like those on low incomes, are more likely to borrow money, thereby increasing the banks’ profits. People from lower income groups may consider gambling as a way out of the debt and income trap. Multi-millionaires’ success can inspire them to follow suit.

Gambling causes a lot of damage to society. A recent Australian study found that, for every gambling addict, five to ten people are impacted negatively. Some estimates suggest that as much as 30 percent of the population is affected by problem gambling. As a result, co-workers lose their jobs and spouses lose their homes. Children go hungry and parents file for bankruptcy.