Gambling Impact Assessments

Gambling involves putting something of value at risk for a chance to gain something in return. It is a common leisure activity and can have positive or negative effects for individuals, their significant others and society. Gambling is also an important source of tax revenue for governments. In the United States, casino revenues support employment and local economies. However, if gambling becomes a compulsive habit, it can destroy the lives of people who run up huge debts or gamble away their personal and family savings. In addition, studies have shown that gambling can be a positive force for seniors, who use it to increase self-concept and improve physical functioning.

Gamblers have been found to experience benefits, such as increased socialization with friends and family. Many enjoy playing games like blackjack, which involve a complex strategy. They are rewarded with a feeling of accomplishment when they win. They can also find relief from stress and anxiety through gambling. This is because the brain releases dopamine during gambling, which causes a positive impact on one’s mental health.

It is important to note that impacts of gambling occur on multiple levels and have a ripple effect throughout the community. Often, financial, labor and health/wellness impacts are considered separately, and the social and community impacts tend to be ignored by researchers. Considering the interrelatedness of these impacts, a more comprehensive approach is needed for studying gambling impacts and developing policies to address them. This article argues for a framework for conducting gambling impact assessments that includes both the financial and social/community/societal costs and benefits.