The impacts of gambling are classified into three classes: personal, interpersonal, and societal. Financial impacts are manifested as revenue, tourism, and infrastructure costs, as well as changes in value and financial situations. All of these factors contribute to the overall economic activity. Labor impacts include reduced performance, job gains, and productivity, and health and well-being. Ultimately, all of these impacts have a negative effect on society. However, if you’re concerned about the potential effects of gambling on your business, here are a few factors to consider.
Gambling is defined as the act of risking something of value, such as money, in hopes of a higher or lower prize. Problem gambling can disrupt major areas of a person’s life. The inability to resist the urge to gamble can lead to financial and legal issues, career failure, and even suicide. The American Psychiatric Association lists several categories of problem gambling. Listed below are some of the main symptoms of problem gambling.
Financial harms of gambling
Problem gambling costs society US$61 million per year, with small businesses taking the greatest hit. It takes time away from the workplace, and many employees experience poorer performance. Problem gambling also reduces employee productivity, which affects the entire economy. The costs of problem gambling are not limited to direct losses, as indirect losses can be even higher. Studies show that the total cost of a single gambling incident to the economy is $13586 per year.
Long-term effects of problem gambling
One of the long-term effects of problem gambling is its negative impact on employment. Those who gamble at work experience decreased productivity, absenteeism, and reduced working relationships. Some employers may even terminate employees who engage in problem gambling. In one study, over 40% of problem gamblers reported that their job performance was impacted by gambling, and more than half of them missed work as a result. Furthermore, nearly half of problem gamblers reported that they were unable to concentrate on their jobs because of gambling, and forty to sixty percent reported smoking at some point in their lifetime. Consequently, alcohol and tobacco use disorders were common co-occurring conditions among problem gamblers.
Impacts of gambling on small businesses
While the effects of social and workplace gambling are not illegal, they can be a significant drain on a business. Pathological gamblers can affect productivity and raise personnel costs. Rehab programs can cost $3,000 to $20,000 per pathological gambler. These unanticipated costs can put a business on the defensive, particularly if it is small. As a result, social and workplace gambling are often criticized as a poor economic development strategy.
Impacts of gambling on suicide
Despite widespread concern, research on the impact of gambling on suicide rates is still limited. In Sweden, for example, researchers found a standardised mortality ratio of 15*1 for suicide among 2000 people with gambling disorders. Further, odds ratios for suicidal ideation and attempts were greater than in the general population. This study and others like it highlight the devastating impact of gambling-related suicide and highlight the need for better government response to reduce the risk of self-harm.