Depending on the nature of the game, the negative impacts of gambling can be divided into three general categories: the individual, interpersonal, and societal. Financial impacts are evident in the economic activity and tourism resulting from gambling revenues. The societal impacts include costs of infrastructure and changes in value of property and financial circumstances. Health impacts can be seen in the reduction in performance, physical health, and psychological well-being. Here, the economic, interpersonal, and societal impacts of gambling are summarized.
Impacts of gambling on individuals
Many people experience the emotional and financial consequences of gambling. In extreme cases, this addiction can even lead to death. The effects of gambling can affect a person’s health, relationships, and even career. In many cases, the problem may lead to other addictions and coping mechanisms. Individuals may find solace in drugs and alcohol, which can be lifelong struggles. Additionally, gambling can permanently damage relationships. If this is the case, it is important to seek professional help to stop the damaging effects of gambling.
Gambling has a wide range of negative effects, especially on the poor. The poor are more likely to seek financial aid when gambling. These individuals often end up paying incredibly high interest rates and penalties for late payments. The resulting debt can lead to the loss of transportation and other important necessities. In addition, the gambling habit can lead to personality disorders. In addition to these negative effects, gambling is associated with an increased risk of crime, which can affect a person’s self-esteem.
Impacts of problem gambling on communities
The impact of gambling on communities is difficult to pin down, and no single study can explain it in detail. Many factors are at play, including changes in economic conditions, social attitudes, and policing and judicial practices. Moreover, problem gambling can lead to increased crime and displacement of local residents, and it can negatively affect credit in the entire economy. A committee review of research in this area concluded that there is a complex relationship between gambling and community problems.
Family members of problem gamblers often seek help from friends or peers. The stigma of addiction often leaves them feeling unable to trust others, and they can develop mood disorders as a result of their gambling. In many cases, partners of problem gamblers must cope with mixed feelings towards their partners. Some partners wanted to give the gambler a second chance, while others were concerned about their children’s well-being and decided to divorce their partner. Other family members may experience social marginalisation and health inequality.
Costs of problem gambling on society
There is no clear consensus on the costs of problem gambling. It is a widespread problem that causes financial losses for individuals and society. These costs range from traffic congestion to the need for more public infrastructure. Besides those direct costs, there are also indirect costs resulting from increased crime and environmental effects. Pathological gambling contributes to bad debts and increases the cost of credit throughout the economy. It has negative consequences for the gambler, their immediate social environments, and the wider society.
Despite its high economic costs, the gambling industry has also emerged as a key economic engine for many communities. It has reduced unemployment and welfare payments. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission estimated that problem gambling costs society $1,200 per adult. The National Council on Problem Gambling, a Washington-based group, has released a study to assess the costs of compulsive gambling. And the study does not stop there.
Costs of compulsive gambling on families
The cost of problem gambling affects society in many ways. While the causes of compulsive gambling are complex, the consequences of problem gambling are often difficult to quantify. In the early 1990s, a study by the Australian Productivity Commission estimated that problem gambling caused a societal cost of 0.3 to 1.0% of the country’s GDP. The resulting costs are around AUD 4.7-8.4 billion per year. Since then, various studies have examined the cost of compulsive gambling on families.
In addition to the financial costs to society, compulsive gambling can also affect the person affected by it. The person suffering from this condition will likely suffer from increased stress, depression, irritability, and secrecy, as well as strained relationships with family and friends. The financial strains of problem gambling will also affect extended family members, friends, and colleagues. The effects on children may be particularly severe, with tension between the parent and child, and the child is at a higher risk of developing an addiction.