Gambling impacts are often categorized into three categories: personal, interpersonal, and societal. Personal impacts are characterized by financial costs, such as those associated with gambling losses or profits, and social impacts include the harms caused to others, as well as benefits to society and the economy. The most commonly recognized external impacts, however, are economic. These impacts can be classified as direct or indirect costs, depending on how much money is spent on gambling. Regardless of the level of impact, gambling has a wide range of consequences that extend beyond the personal lives of those who engage in it.
There are several positive effects of gambling. Some studies report that gamblers experience better health than nongamblers. Other studies suggest that gambling can have a psychological effect, reinforcing self-concepts and enhancing the well-being of seniors. Other studies have found that gambling can also enhance the self-image of people in lower socioeconomic classes, and can even help them maintain optimism in difficult life situations. This is a particularly strong finding when it comes to problem gambling.
Social impacts of gambling are largely invisible, but there are many important effects of gambling. They can be measured at a number of levels, including personal, interpersonal, and community. The effects of gambling can range from negative to positive, as well as the costs and benefits of different kinds of gambling. Furthermore, the impacts of gambling can span generations and entire life courses. Therefore, research on the effects of gambling should consider the following:
Social costs of gambling are difficult to quantify. In some areas, casino gambling is more prevalent than other forms of gambling. In some places, casino gambling can actually lead to increased property prices and other costs. This effect is known as the consumer surplus. Some studies, however, have found that the social costs of gambling are higher when compared to other forms of entertainment. Some studies have concluded that the overall effects of gambling have stabilised as participation in casinos decreases.
Although gambling harms have been widely studied, there are many other effects. Intangible costs of gambling include the pain and suffering suffered by problem gamblers, the costs of gambling to society, and the losses to health and social welfare of nongamblers. These negative consequences are not reflected in current literature, but are nonetheless important to consider when considering public policies that aim to address gambling harms. This research provides a solid basis for the implementation of effective gambling policies.
Homelessness and gambling are closely related. Problem gambling has been associated with an increased risk of homelessness. However, the causal relationship between gambling and homelessness is not clear. Gambling can be a risk factor for homelessness, as reported by 82% of problem gamblers. Gambling has also been associated with a decreased quality of life, especially for children and partners. The financial impact of gambling can cause severe emotional, physical, and social harm to the family and friends of the problem gambler.