The Positive and Negative Impacts of Gambling


Gambling is a game of chance that requires risking money in order to win something of value. There are many types of gambling, including lottery tickets, card games, horse races, and tribal gaming.

Gambling has both positive and negative effects on individuals, families, and communities. Studies have explored the economic, social, and health impacts of gambling. While some studies have tried to quantify these benefits, others have focused on the harms.

Most studies have examined the financial, labor, and social impacts of gambling. Some have even attempted to quantify the positive impact of gambling by measuring consumer surplus. These impacts are measured through an economic cost-benefit analysis.

Generally speaking, a monetary amount can’t fully quantify the social and economic costs of gambling. But, a conceptual model can be used to structure these effects.

Financial impacts include changes in economic situations, tourism, and infrastructure. Other impacts include changes in productivity, job gains, and reduced performance. Similarly, impacts on the community can include those caused by those close to gamblers.

Social impacts can be quantified using a health-related quality of life weight or disability weight. This approach is commonly used for alcohol and drug research.

Some of the positive impacts of gambling are also reflected in the financial costs of gambling. Studies have estimated that the consumer surplus of the Australian gambling industry is between $8 and $11 billion per year.

Studies have also measured the health and economic impacts of problem gambling. One study found that 1 to 4% of the adult population has a gambling disorder. The prevalence of this disorder varies by country.