Gambling is the act of risking money or something of value to predict the outcome of a game involving chance. It can include betting on sports events or using fruit machines at a casino.
Benefits and costs of gambling
The economic impact of gambling on society can be measured in different ways. The most common approach is to consider benefits (e.g., casino revenues) and costs (e.g., lost productivity).
Benefit-cost analysis provides an analytical framework that can be used to evaluate the social costs of gambling and determine its net effect on society. Ideally, this process should take into account real costs versus economic transfers, tangible and intangible effects, direct and indirect effects, present and future values, and gains and losses experienced by different groups in various settings (Gramlich, 1990).
A number of studies have attempted to measure the benefits and costs of gambling. Some focus on gross impact; others provide a balanced measurement of the impacts of gambling on society.
Some of these studies are very good, while some are not as well-developed or accurate. A group of them, for example, rely on third-party calculations to arrive at their estimates of the social costs of gambling.
In contrast, a study by Grinols and Omorov (1995) takes a unique approach to economic impact analysis. Instead of focusing on a geographic area, they attempted to estimate the impact of expanding gambling accessibility nationwide.
If you have a problem gambler in your family, it is important to get professional help. Psychiatrists can offer counseling and treatment to help your loved one overcome the problem. They can also recommend family therapy and other mental health services.