Economic and Social Costs of Gambling


The economic and social costs of gambling are often overlooked in studies of the impact of this activity. While these impacts are often measured, they are not generally defined. Williams et al. and Walker and Barnett define social costs as those associated with gambling that hurt or benefit no one. These costs are not directly measured by the gambling industry, but rather, are social, not personal, costs. Those measurable social costs are largely ignored in studies of gambling.

Impacts of problem gambling on families

Recent research has examined the impact of problem gambling on families and partners. It has shown that the family members of a problem gambler experience a variety of health problems. Researchers have analyzed the family members’ coping strategies to understand the links between problem gambling and their lives. These family members reported experiencing physical health issues, conflict, and addictive behaviors. This study also shows that problem gambling affects families emotionally. A family can be adversely affected by gambling, even when there are no other addiction problems.

The effects of problem gambling on family members are significant, especially for those who are intimate partners of a problem gambler. The presence of a gambler in a family increases the likelihood of physical harm and violence. As a result, many family members end up becoming perpetrators of violence. While these negative impacts of problem gambling may seem remote, the results of the research are compelling. Problem gambling on family members can cause considerable physical harm to loved ones.

Financial harms

There are many types of financial harms associated with gambling. Some are personal, while others affect entire communities. Economic harms of gambling are non-monetary, but can also include changes in the economy, tourism, and values of individuals. On the other hand, societal costs can be visible and result from the overall cost/benefit ratio of gambling in a society. The following are some common examples. These costs are discussed below. If you or someone you know is suffering from gambling addiction, you should consider the financial and social impacts of these activities.

In general, these costs are not only significant to the individual gambler, but also to the society. The financial costs of problem gambling are typically higher in lower socioeconomic groups and among indigenous groups. While causality between gambling and financial loss is not always clear, researchers have identified ways to reduce the impact of problem gambling. In a Swedish registry study, problem gamblers were 15.1 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. This increased risk was seen in both attempted and completed suicides. In total, 590 attempts were made by persons who were affected by gambling problems.

Social costs

Problem gambling can have a high economic cost on employers. Problem gamblers often take long lunch breaks and spend time on the phone or online. They are more likely to miss work due to problems with gambling. Problem gamblers also take frequent sick leaves, which can result in unemployment. In addition, the costs can also extend to the health and safety of the workplace. In the Netherlands, gambling problems have been linked to an increase in the number of incarcerations.

The economic value of these costs is harder to quantify because there is no definite causal relationship between gambling problems and other life outcomes. Consequently, social costs of problem gambling are usually discounted using a causality adjustment factor. The Australian Productivity Commission developed this method in 1999. The researchers assumed that 80% of problem gamblers would still have problems if they did not engage in gambling. However, it is difficult to compare study results across countries and cultures due to the variety of methods used by different researchers.

Economic cost-benefit analysis

There is a significant gap between the economic and social costs of gambling. Although most studies have focused on individual costs, few have addressed the social costs of gambling. These costs are difficult to quantify, since they are not personal, but affect society as a whole. These costs are difficult to measure, but are crucial for policymakers and researchers alike. To get a better picture of the costs, researchers can look to the literature on the subject.

One problem with direct comparisons is the lack of causal relationships between gambling and disorders. Despite this, most studies discount costs by using a causality adjustment factor. In a 1999 report by the Australian Productivity Commission, they assumed that 80% of problem gamblers would still be affected by gambling-related costs even without the gamblers. However, this is not a satisfactory answer. This is because the economic value of the quality of life that is lost in the process of gambling is not zero.