Across the globe, gambling has become a popular leisure activity. Some consumers use it as a way to escape problems or simply to unwind. Others are motivated by a desire to win money. But there are a number of negative impacts related to gambling.
While many studies have measured economic benefits of gambling, the social impacts have received less attention. This is largely because the social impacts of gambling are often difficult to measure.
In an effort to address this gap, a conceptual model for assessing gambling’s impact has been developed. This model is based on a public health approach to gambling. Using a cost-benefit analysis, it attempts to determine the positive social impacts of gambling.
The costs of gambling include both the harms to the individual and the harms to society. The harms to the individual are mainly nonmonetary. Among the nonmonetary harms are emotional stress, relationship problems, and illicit lending.
The negative impacts of gambling can be quantified through health-related quality of life weights. These weights are a per-person burden on health status and quality of life. They also can be used to detect social networks affected by gamblers.
Some studies suggest that the introduction of casinos has contributed to the development of social deprivation. However, recent studies indicate that the overall harms from gambling tend to stabilize once participation begins to fall.
In addition to the health impacts, gambling can have a long-term impact on an individual’s life. Gambling is also associated with homelessness and bankruptcy.