Despite its popularity and its economic impact, gambling can also be a source of harm. Aside from the psychological effects on gamblers, there are also social, economic and environmental impacts. The costs of gambling can be categorized into three classes: internal, interpersonal and society/community level.
Intangible social costs of gambling include emotional stress, relationship problems, and other issues that affect the gambler’s social network. These are often unrecognized costs. However, some costs become visible at the society/community level, such as those associated with intimate partner violence. Others can only be recognized when family members of the gambler seek help.
For example, a study of pathological gambling found that a significant number of problem gamblers engaged in physical IPV. In addition, a pathological gambler was twice as likely to have suffered severe marital violence or child abuse. Other forms of violence associated with gambling include petty theft from family members and illicit lending. In addition, pathological gambling increases the risk of dating violence.
Regardless of the types of harms, the majority of gambling-related harms are caused by gamblers. This is true for both problem and non-problem gamblers. Some consumers use gambling as a way to avoid problem behaviors, while other gamblers are motivated by a desire to win money.
Some studies have suggested that gambling has positive benefits for the economy. Those who are involved in the gambling industry are better paid. Another study found that recreational gamblers were healthier than those who did not participate in gambling. There are also fewer studies that evaluate the positive effects of gambling on gamblers.
Although these studies have examined the economic benefits of gambling, there are still more questions about the social impacts. It has been estimated that one to four percent of adults in the United States engage in pathological gambling, and that there is no reliable medication that is approved by the FDA for treating gambling disorders.
The social impacts of gambling have been difficult to quantify, but there is a growing body of literature that examines the social consequences of gambling. For example, there are studies that evaluate the effect of gambling on employment and tourism. Additionally, there are some organizations that provide counselling for people who are affected by gambling. These services are confidential and available 24 hours a day.
Some studies have used a cost of illness approach to determine the socioeconomic impacts of gambling. This approach is commonly used in alcohol and drug research, and involves assigning a value to intangible harms. For example, an economic cost-benefit analysis measures changes in the well-being of common units. The health-related quality of life weights are one such measure.
Various therapies are used to treat gambling disorders, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and group therapy. It is important to understand why a person gambles, because this information can be used to encourage behavioral change. It can also help people overcome addiction. It can be helpful to talk with family and friends who are affected by gambling, but it is only individuals who can decide whether or not to stop gambling.