The Social Impacts of Gambling


In the past, studies on gambling focused on economic costs and benefits, but rarely considered the social costs associated with the practice. Williams et al. and Walker and Barnett have provided a more inclusive definition of social costs: harming someone else or benefiting no one. They also defined social costs as those that are social rather than personal. However, the social costs associated with gambling are difficult to quantify and largely ignored by current studies. So, it remains an open question as to how to best measure these impacts.

Social acceptability

Gambling is widely accepted as an activity, but there are some risks associated with it. One of these is the potential for gambling addiction. Thankfully, most people gamble responsibly. However, a small percentage of people develop problem gambling habits that can have detrimental relational, health, and economic effects. A study conducted by McGill University and the National Council on Problem Gambling found that holiday season presents an opportunity to raise awareness about gambling and its dangers.

Other risk factors include family and relationship breakdown, parental divorce, and polygamous family situations. These factors may also make gambling more prevalent in some communities. Regardless of the risk factors, it is important to identify factors that may influence gambling behavior in the community. This study identified a few risk factors that can influence gambling behavior and offer interventions for its reduction. These risk factors can include social acceptability, family support, and the environment where young people live.


The costs of gambling are not only economic. The social cost of problem gambling is significant as well. It is estimated that, for every pathological gambler, the state pays nearly $13,000 in social costs annually, or $266 per capita adult. The cost-benefit ratio of gambling is three to one, and the costs outweigh the benefits by far. Casinos are associated with higher rates of violent, non-violent, and property crimes. As a result, nine percent of all property crimes and thirteen percent of violent crimes are attributable to casino presence.

In both Connecticut and Wisconsin, the social costs of problem gambling are similar. They include lost work time, unemployment, bad debts, and thefts. Other costs include criminal justice system and civil court costs. Welfare costs vary. Legalization of gambling in Connecticut may explain the differences in costs. Further research is needed to determine how gambling affects the community’s quality of life. But, until then, these costs are only estimates. To make a proper estimate, we must first define “social costs”.


Although the impacts of gambling are often discussed, they are difficult to measure in dollar amounts. The impacts of gambling can be influenced by many other factors, including changes in economic conditions, social attitudes, and policing and judicial practices. However, the environmental impacts of gambling have made strides toward becoming tangible. For example, a 1995 study by Thompson et al. estimated that gambling brought $326 million in annual economic benefits to Wisconsin.

The impact of gambling on health may vary across different groups. While there is evidence that gambling increases stress levels and reduces physical activity, other research has shown that it may actually improve health indirectly through a stronger community economy. For instance, one study found that individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to report an increase in gambling during a period of economic hardship. Further, the study reported that women who are older and from lower socioeconomic status were more likely to engage in online gambling.


Many people who suffer from gambling addiction also have alcohol and drug use disorders. This is not surprising, as these conditions are often triggered by gambling, and the individual may try to self-treat them with substances. To help them overcome the addiction, many states provide subsidized treatment for gambling disorders. If you suspect that you have a gambling addiction, it is vital to seek treatment as soon as possible. Listed below are some ways to find a treatment facility near you.

There are two main types of treatment for gambling addiction. Inpatient care includes intensive therapy and group meetings, while outpatient programmes require less time. Outpatient treatment consists of nine hours or more of structured therapy per week. Although this type of care is generally less intensive, it is still a good option for patients with mild forms of addiction. However, it is not an ideal option for those who want to continue to live in their own home.