While gambling has long been associated with socializing, it is not the only consequence of this activity. The external and internal impacts of gambling are both important and complex, affecting not only the gambler, but their families, friends, communities, and the world at large. These impacts affect everyone and vary widely, from the personal to the societal. The impact of gambling on individuals and communities includes both short and long-term effects, as well as impacts that are largely invisible.
These costs are classified in three broad categories: personal, interpersonal, and societal. The personal level impacts are non-monetary and include indirect costs of problem gambling and other benefits to society. In addition, long-term costs are often overlooked. Finally, the societal and community level impacts involve monetary costs and benefits, and they are usually not recognized. The effects of gambling can be harmful for anyone, and the costs associated with gambling can be significant. The following sections describe some of the most common social and economic impacts of gambling.
Social and workplace effects of gambling. Social interactions are among the primary motivators of gambling. Some consumers use gambling as a way to get away from problems. For example, a problem gambler might be prone to developing depression and other symptoms of the disease. Similarly, social settings provide a common environment for problem gambling. These effects may be detrimental to an employee’s performance in the workplace and could result in a termination. This type of behavior may also affect their relationships with coworkers.
In addition to financial benefits, limiting the number of times one can gamble is another benefit. Although gambling can increase a person’s sense of well-being and mental health, it is an activity that requires a conscious decision. If a person finds themselves tempted to gamble and becomes dependent on it, they must stop immediately. By making a decision and resisting the urge to gamble, the person can avoid financial problems. It is important to eliminate credit cards, close accounts online, and keep only limited amounts of cash on hand.
Gambling can cause positive and negative effects on individuals and communities. However, studies that focus on negative impacts, such as problem gambling, have been selective and ignore the positive effects. In addition, many of the harms of gambling are ignored, including those affecting nongamblers. As a result, our current understanding of the effects of gambling is largely biased. The research we have conducted provides a basis for making public policies for responsible gambling.
While most youth gamble rarely or not at all, others engage in excessive gambling. While adults engage in commercial gambling and buy lottery tickets, youth tend to gamble in informal games. Legal gambling age varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but generally varies between eighteen and twenty-one years of age. Young people celebrating their eighteenth birthday may celebrate their legal gambling age by visiting a casino or purchasing lottery products from older gamblers. They may even steal from legal-age gamblers to win more money.