The social costs of gambling have received relatively little attention in studies. They have been focused on measuring the economic cost and benefits of gambling, but rarely have they considered the social costs. To measure the social costs of gambling, economists use a concept known as the consumer surplus. In this concept, the social costs of gambling are weighed against the positive social impacts of gambling.
Depending on the severity of the gambling problem, the social costs of gambling can affect individual and society. Some of these external impacts include health, labor, and well-being. Observations have shown that the social costs of gambling are substantial. Individuals who engage in excessive gambling may experience homelessness and bankruptcy. These impacts should be considered in public policy and public health assessment.
Although the most common definition of gambling is betting money, it can also involve betting property. In some cases, a “consideration” is used in place of a “bet”. Regardless of the value of the item, the game is considered gambling. Gambling laws vary by state, as do minimum gambling ages. Some states have an age limit of 21 for casino gambling, probably because alcohol is sold in casinos. Other states, such as New Jersey, have age restrictions for gambling.
Moreover, the social settings associated with gambling activities influence the motivation of consumers. In addition to the desire to win money, some consumers also use gambling as a way to escape problems. This is especially true of problem gamblers.