The costs of gambling affect individuals at many levels, including the individual, family, and society at large. These costs are mostly nonmonetary. They include costs to an individual’s family, the social impact of problem gambling, and long-term costs. While some of these costs are visible at the individual level, many remain hidden and unrecognized. The external impacts are both monetary and nonmonetary, and include the costs and benefits related to problem gambling.
Social impacts of gambling
The social impacts of gambling extend far beyond the individual gambler. These effects have been documented on the individual, interpersonal, and community/society levels. These effects are often long-term and can change the life course of an individual or generation. The following paragraphs provide an overview of the impacts of gambling on individuals and society.
The social impacts of gambling are both positive and negative. On the positive side, they have contributed to increasing tourism, reducing crime, and decreasing illegal gambling. On the negative side, gambling can cause social disorganization, decrease social capital, and contribute to social deprivation. However, the impact of gambling on a community’s health is less clear.
The social impacts of gambling are most severe in areas with low socioeconomic status. Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable. Problem gamblers are often suffering from psychotic disorders, which further compound the problem. While gambling is an enjoyable activity for some, the consequences are often far-reaching. Problem gamblers can end up bankrupt, which can have devastating effects on their family and community. Furthermore, problem gamblers can contribute to the costs of social care for the general population.
Types of gamblers
Gambling addiction comes in all shapes and sizes. Different types display different personal and social characteristics. However, there are some patterns that are more apparent in some gamblers. Researchers have identified seven types of gamblers. Casual gamblers are individuals who frequent casinos whenever they have free time. They visit the casinos and play games as they please. Afterwards, they go home.
Social gamblers are those who gamble for social reasons, such as to meet people with similar interests. These individuals may also gamble to relieve stress and anxiety. These people are most often female. Compulsive gamblers are pathological gamblers who have no control over their habit and may even lie about it. They may have a history of mental illness.
Professional gamblers are individuals who view gambling as their occupation, not just a hobby. They study statistics and odds to determine which bets to place. They typically play long, high-stakes games. Another type of gambler is an anti-social person, who may be drawn to illegal gambling or criminal activity. Personality disorders can also be a factor. Such people tend to make irrational decisions and lack empathy.
Costs of problem gambling
The costs of problem gambling are a complex topic. Researchers have attempted to estimate them in various ways. Some use a bottom-up approach, which means that they are a fixed sum, while others use a scale in which the number of affected gamblers is multiplied by an average cost per person. These studies are based on data collected from different states.
The costs of problem gambling include direct, indirect, and intangible costs. In 2018, Sweden’s societal costs of problem gambling were estimated at EUR1419 million, and these costs comprised both direct and indirect costs. The study found that the total costs were approximately double the tax revenue generated by gambling in the country. However, these costs are also lower than those of smoking and alcohol consumption.
These costs come from the reduced productivity of problem gamblers. These employees spend a considerable amount of time away from the workplace, taking long lunch breaks, and chatting on the phone. They also spend a lot of time dealing with crises, such as financial losses. According to researchers in Quebec, a single employee’s problem gambling affects productivity by approximately five hours per month. If this employee was earning $30k per year, this would equate to around $5 million in lost wages. Furthermore, employees may embezzle company funds to finance their gambling behavior.