Despite its popularity, gambling has a number of negative effects. Besides wasting time and money, gambling can create problems with family, home, and work. If a person becomes bankrupt, it can have serious financial implications for his family. It can also negatively impact public services. There are many forms of gambling, including lottery tickets, casino gambling, horse racing, and slot machines. In some areas, gambling is highly regulated.
Gambling is a major international commercial activity. Its earliest evidence dates back to ancient China, when people used tiles to play a rudimentary game of chance. Today, gambling is a popular recreational activity in most countries. Some consumers use gambling to escape their problems, while others are motivated by the dream of winning money. Its revenues can be directed to beneficial causes. However, gambling has also been a catalyst for criminal organizations. In the late 20th century, laws against gambling were relaxed, especially in the U.S. In the early 20th century, gambling was almost uniformly outlawed.
While a large body of literature has studied the positive effects of gambling, few studies have examined the negative consequences. The goal of these studies is to develop a conceptual model of gambling, and to review contrasting views on the issue.
The concept of gambling can be broadly defined as any activity where a person wagers something of value on a random event. Some large-scale gambling activities require professional organization, while some are organized by commercial establishments. This article will discuss three levels of gambling impacts: the personal, the interpersonal, and the community/society level. The personal level includes the impacts of gambling on the gambler, as well as the costs, benefits, and effects of gambling on the person’s life. The interpersonal level includes the impacts of gambling on the gambler’s family, friends, and other close members.
The personal level is most likely to have financial, labor, and operating cost problems. For small businesses, these issues are especially common. For example, shop rents, shop owner salaries, and inflation can all be a problem, as can staff retention. In addition to these costs, adolescent gamblers may experience adolescent-specific adverse consequences. For example, young gamblers may have to leave school or their family because of the gambling.
The interpersonal level is generally considered to be more difficult to quantify. It involves issues such as relationship problems, petty theft from family members, and illicit lending. It is important to recognize that many of these costs are invisible. They remain unrecognized until a person’s family or friends seek help.
The interpersonal level is also the place to look for the social impacts of gambling. Although a monetary amount cannot be used to measure these costs, disability weights have been used to determine the intangible social impacts of gambling. The disability weights, or health-related quality of life weights, are a method of measuring the amount of harm a gambler is causing his social network. The results of a study by Williams et al. show that participants who had counseling experience had higher employment impacts.