Although studies have analyzed the economic impacts of gambling, few have focused on the social and societal costs and benefits of the activity. In most cases, the economic impacts of gambling have been studied, as the economic effects are measurable and can include increased revenue and tourism. Social costs can be characterized as negative consequences for the community or society as a whole, rather than personal impacts. This is especially true for small businesses, which have greater difficulty maintaining staff, reducing costs, and managing operational expenses.
While gambling revenues increase public services, less research has looked into the positive impacts of the activity on its users. However, there are health-related quality-of-life weights, also known as disability weights, that can be used to assess the adverse effects of gambling. These weights can be used to determine the social costs of gambling for individuals, which may be difficult to quantify using more traditional measures. The researchers found that gambling can enhance the self-concept of seniors, while also helping those in lower socioeconomic groups remain positive even under tough circumstances.
In addition to social effects, gambling motivations can be influenced by the individual’s need to participate in activities involving gambling. For example, the desire to win money motivates some consumers, while others use gambling as a way to escape from problems. This is especially true for problem gamblers. This can lead to addiction. In either case, counselling is recommended. These services are confidential and free. The counselors are available around the clock.
Social impacts of gambling are often difficult to quantify because they are non-monetary in nature. As a result, most of these impacts are often not accounted for in the impact calculation. However, some studies have established basic principles that can be used to measure these social effects. If this concept is adopted, it can be used to compare different policies on gambling. Using this approach, researchers can compare the social and economic impacts of various gambling policies. A public health approach is useful for policymakers because it evaluates the effects across a spectrum of severity.
The benefits and costs of gambling are difficult to quantify. Some studies attempt to measure gambling’s social benefits by measuring what is called the consumer surplus. A consumer surplus is a difference between what a person would pay for a product or service and the actual cost. This arbitrary monetary amount is not able to take into account the social and non-monetary impacts of gambling. Even if the cost is higher, the results of this research are still quite impressive.
Problem gambling is associated with decreased employment and productivity. It may cause absenteeism, reduced working relationships, and even wrongful termination. Research on problem gambling shows that it is associated with higher income households, which spend more and lose more money than low-income ones. This in turn leads to greater social inequality. Problem gamblers are also likely to miss more work due to gambling, and this results in decreased income for poorer people. In Finland, only 12.6% of the population engage in problem gambling.