Social Impacts of Gambling


The cost and benefits of gambling have been studied extensively, but the social impacts of gambling have remained relatively unexplored. In this article, we explore the costs and benefits of gambling from different perspectives. We also consider social costs, including the harm that gambling can cause to society. What do we know about the social costs of gambling? What can be done to reduce these costs? We can look at the impacts on our society by studying how it affects the lives of individuals.


There are many aspects to consider when considering the effects of gambling. The benefits and costs of pathological gambling are not immediately apparent, and the impact on the social environment and wider community is not as obvious. In fact, pathological gambling may even increase crime and the cost of credit for the entire economy. Here are six important aspects to consider when evaluating the impact of gambling:


Problem gambling entails a number of costs. The costs are not just monetary; they also affect the quality of people’s lives. Several of these costs are not measurable. Among them are the social costs, such as embezzlement, fraud, and bankruptcy. These costs are not as easy to measure, however, because they are more intangible. Psychological costs, such as those associated with co-morbidity, are especially difficult to measure. In order to assess these costs, the best informants are those in counselling.


Many people enjoy gambling for entertainment value, but there are also many positive benefits to the activity. Gambling can improve pattern recognition and mental faculties. Some games, such as poker and blackjack, require players to be able to read body language, which is an invaluable skill for winning at these games. Gambling is also a great way to socialize with friends. Gambling is also an excellent activity for groups, as people who play together can beat the house edge and split the winnings.

Social costs

There is considerable uncertainty regarding the economic and social costs of gambling, and the evidence for causality among these effects is scarce. Some estimates have excluded certain costs, namely those related to unemployment and gambling addiction. Others, such as the costs of treatment and gambling addiction, were included by a factor that discounted many costs. However, the method used is largely based on previous studies and thus remains somewhat arbitrary. This article outlines some of the issues that researchers should consider when assessing the social costs of gambling.

Legal age

The debate over gambling is raging among states, with some supporting an increase in the legal age to 21. Proponents say that raising the minimum age to gamble would prevent children from developing gambling addictions and would raise awareness about the dangers of gambling. However, opponents argue that this would harm gambling and the young people who participate in it. Even if the minimum gambling age is increased to 21 across the country, this doesn’t mean that gambling will be banned in all states.

Impacts on small businesses

While the number of small businesses that experience negative impacts from gambling activities has increased, there are still some sectors that remain untouched. Some of the major effects of gambling on small businesses are employment and revenue loss, and some of these are not immediately evident. Some studies may not even be relevant to that particular industry. But a review of existing studies can provide some insight. The following sections summarize the most common findings of such studies. Hopefully, they will be helpful in identifying the specific effects of gambling on small businesses.

Problem gamblers

Studies on neuroendocrine responses have shown that problem gamblers experience increased activity of the pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathoadrenal system during the act of gambling. In addition, problem gamblers’ cortisol levels increase during the actual gambling session, similar to that of people who experience acute stress. Moreover, problem gamblers’ cortisol levels stay elevated for long periods.