Across the world, gambling is a popular form of entertainment. People play for a variety of reasons, including social rewards, intellectual challenges, and self-soothing.
Studies have documented the financial and economic costs of gambling. For example, gambling has been linked to increased rates of violent crime, driving while intoxicated, and illicit lending. However, it has also been reported that gaming revenues can be directed to beneficial causes.
Many of these studies have focused on the cost of gambling at the community level. This includes the cost of problem gambling and the costs associated with the gambler’s family members.
In addition to financial impacts, gambling can also have negative effects on health. For instance, compulsive gambling has been linked to worsened mood disorders. Even when a person stops gambling, mood disorders can persist.
Gambling can also cause homelessness. In fact, 82% of problem gamblers say that gambling preceded their housing situation.
Studies have also shown that gambling can lead to an increase in demand for social services. For instance, casinos have been associated with an increase in violent crime.
Some consumers also use gambling to escape problems. Besides, casinos have been associated with increases in property prices. This, in turn, has led to increases in living prices.
Gambling has also been associated with increased rates of petty theft from family members and intimate partner violence (IPV).
The problem with gambling impact studies is that they often do not include the social consequences. For instance, the cost of imprisonment related to problem gambling is estimated at between $51 and $243 million per year.