There are many impacts of gambling on a person’s life, including those on a personal, interpersonal, and community level. Gamblers often have negative effects on close family and friends, as well as co-workers. The effects of excessive gambling on the individual may lead to financial ruin and homelessness. The financial cost of problem gambling may affect a person’s employment, but it can also cause other problems. In addition to the negative impact on the individual’s finances, gambling is also linked to crime.
Positive effects of gambling on employment
Proponents of casinos often cite the decreased local unemployment rates after a casino opens, indicating that it helped lower unemployment in the area. While this is certainly true, the casino’s impact should be compared to the statewide rate. Some observers point to natural business cycles and changes in other industries as the reasons for increased employment. Nevertheless, it is not clear if the presence of a casino will boost local employment.
One recent study estimates that increased gambling access costs governments approximately A$48.8 million per year, or nine dollars per person. However, this total cost is not representative of all the positive effects. Some researchers do not assign dollar values to these effects. However, they do show that the increase in access to gambling creates good jobs with good benefits. In other words, these casinos produce good jobs, and the government will benefit. However, there are also negative impacts of gambling.
Financial problems caused by excessive gambling
One of the long-term consequences of excessive gambling is debt. Gamblers often incur large debts after winning small amounts of money. Fortunately, debt management agencies can help them get back on track by lowering their interest rates. However, debt management agencies aren’t a quick fix for gambling debt, and it can take time. Gamblers often owe several creditors money and must create a plan to repay them all.
To understand the relationship between excessive gambling and psychological distress, researchers have looked at the role of consumer debt. Generally, psychological distress is associated with financial problems and can manifest as anxiety or depression. Furthermore, gambling can lead to consumer debt, which in turn can lead to other financial problems, such as default and enforcement. In some studies, consumer debt can mediate the relationship between problem gambling and psychological distress, but its role may vary depending on the individual’s situation.
Work-related costs of problem gambling
The productivity loss attributed to problem gambling has been estimated at around $1 billion a year. Researchers estimated this cost based on data on the employment-related costs of problem gamblers, average earnings, and the proportion of problem gamblers in the workforce. These estimates are sensitive to other factors such as the average amount of time problem gamblers miss from work, such as mental illness. The costs may also include the economic and social burden of mental illness.
The societal costs of problem gambling are difficult to estimate because of the lack of causal links between the causes and effects of gambling. In fact, the costs can be due to factors related to a person’s life circumstances, not to the actual problem itself. Most studies discount costs using a causality adjustment factor. The Australian Productivity Commission incorporated this method into its report in 1999. They assumed that 80% of problem gamblers would have faced these consequences without gambling.
Impact of gambling on crime
Many researchers have looked at the positive and negative impacts of gambling, but the evidence is mixed. The present study focuses on video lottery terminals (VLTs) and casino gambling, using data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey to examine these associations. It finds no significant association between casino gambling and crime, but there are positive crime-specific effects of VLTs. Researchers expect preliminary results by the end of the year. However, they will continue to study the relationship between gambling and crime in the United States.
In countries with high rates of problem gambling, the proportion of victims of violent crimes is greater. While petty theft and illicit lending are common forms of violence, gambling-related harm is particularly severe. Pathological gambling is associated with an increased risk of severe marital violence, dating violence, and child abuse. It has even been linked to family homicides. Intimate partner violence is also a common complication of problem gambling, although it represents a small proportion of all partnership violence.