The Consequences of Gambling on Society and People


The impacts of gambling on society and people can be categorized into three types: personal, interpersonal, and societal. Financial impacts include gambling revenues, impacts on other industries, and changes in values and financial situations. These impacts contribute to economic activity, and social impacts include health and well-being. Health impacts include changes in physical and psychological health. Behavioral health impacts are less tangible, but they may include the effects on social cohesion. This article provides some examples of the consequences of gambling on society and people.

Impacts of gambling on people

The social impacts of gambling are often ignored by researchers, who focus primarily on economic costs. But these costs can be very real, especially when compared with the positive impacts of gambling on society. While gambling increases tourism revenue, it can also lead to increased crime. These social costs are a major concern for researchers, since they could affect people close to a gambler. Ultimately, determining the extent of the social impact of gambling is crucial for the proper management of the industry.

Intimate relationships can be severely damaged by problem gambling. The intimate partners of problem gamblers often become the victims of criminal activity. Petty theft from family members and illicit lending are common forms of interpersonal harm that can occur. However, the extent of violence associated with gambling can be extreme. Pathological gamblers are at a higher risk of experiencing violence in their intimate relationships, including domestic violence, child abuse, and even homicide. While these types of problems are rare, the results of research based on a small number of individuals show that gambling has a major impact on a person’s life.

Costs of gambling to society

While the economic costs of gambling are obvious, the social costs are less well-known. Social costs encompass labor, health, and general social well-being, and are not directly measurable. These costs become apparent when they are measured at the community or society level. In addition to social costs, gambling has many external impacts, such as crime, family breakdown, and extra crime. The costs of gambling are not merely negative; they are also positive side effects.

Several studies have estimated the social costs of gambling. One study, based on data from Australia, estimated that problem gambling costs 0.3-1.0% of GDP, or approximately AUD 4.5-7.4 billion annually. Other studies have estimated that social costs are similar to or higher than the direct costs of problem gambling. Moreover, these costs have increased as jurisdictions compete to deregulated gambling and to generate short-term economic benefits.

Health impacts of gambling

The first decade of research into gambling harm focused on identifying and defining the types of harm caused by the activity. The early foundational research established a prism for understanding the key factors in relation to the social determinants of health. This research also emphasized the importance of harm reduction strategies for different levels of gambling. The researchers concluded that a public health approach is needed to address the harm caused by gambling. Further, they said, gambling harm should be investigated at all levels.

The harms of gambling are often categorized on a continuum, with some experiencing greater harm than others. The majority of harms are associated with problem gamblers, but these risks vary by individual. They can range from financial insecurity to employment disruption, to substance abuse, and mental disorders. The impacts of gambling extend across the risk spectrum, and can affect an individual, their family, and their community. While gambling is an activity that can be enjoyed by many, it should be viewed as a potentially harmful activity for all involved.