Understanding the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling

Whether you have a flutter from time to time or you are a frequent gambler, understanding the ins and outs of gambling can help you make more informed decisions. Gambling can be addictive and can cause problems in your life if you are not careful.

Gambling is a common leisure activity in most countries, but it has major social and economic impacts not only on the gambler but also his/her significant others and the society at large. In order to understand these impacts, different approaches have been used.

The cost of illness perspective, which assesses the costs of problem gambling on individuals and their family members, is a good method for understanding the economic impacts of gambling. However, it does not cover the intangible social impacts of gambling, such as the emotional and relationship harms caused by gambling.

Alternatively, the public health approach evaluates the social and economic impacts of gambling from a more comprehensive perspective, by assessing the effects of the activity on different groups of people, across all levels (personal, interpersonal, and societal). In addition, a conceptual model is needed to describe these impacts in a holistic way. This will enable researchers to better identify which policies and strategies will have the best impact on gamblers and their society.