Economic Analysis of Gambling


Gambling is the wagering of something of value (money or other items) on a random event where instances of strategy are discounted. This activity occurs both in public and private settings, such as casinos, racetracks, bingo halls, and online. Whether gambling is considered legal or not depends on the jurisdiction in which it takes place. Some governments regulate and tax the industry, while others prohibit it or limit the types of bets allowed.

The main reason people gamble is to try and win money. However, research shows that there are other factors at play: people often gamble for emotional and behavioural reasons, such as to relieve stress, change their moods or socialize with friends. In addition, gambling can stimulate feelings of euphoria and increase self-esteem.

Economic analysis of gambling has traditionally focused on the direct and indirect benefits to the economy, including employment, taxes and tourism. Intangible costs and benefits are also important, although they can be difficult or impossible to measure or quantify in dollar terms.

Some of the intangible effects include a loss of natural resources, such as wetlands, and a reduction in biodiversity. Many of these effects are not always considered when estimating the overall impact of gambling, because they are not easy to quantify. However, more progress is being made toward making these effects tangible. Other intangibles, such as the social and psychological impacts, are also important and can be influenced by other factors, such as the environment and community in which people live.