The Economic Impact of Gambling
Gambling is a popular pastime for many people and can be a source of pleasure. However, for some people it can become an addictive behaviour that affects their health and finances. Problem gambling can also have a negative impact on family and friends. In extreme cases, it can lead to suicide.
Casinos and sportsbooks need employees, whether they are behind the scenes or in front of the camera – this means that gambling is good for the economy. Online casinos, such as Paddy Power, also employ thousands of people worldwide. These jobs would not be available if it was not for the popularity of gambling.
The brain responds to gambling by releasing dopamine, which is one of the feel-good neurotransmitters. The release of this chemical is responsible for the excitement that gamblers experience when they win. It is therefore important to recognise when your emotions are getting out of control and to seek help when needed.
Those with lower incomes are more vulnerable to developing gambling problems, especially young men and women. People with mood disorders like depression, stress or anxiety can be particularly susceptible to gambling addiction. They may start gambling for coping reasons – to forget their problems or to reduce their anxiety – and they may find that it becomes a habit.
The economic impact of gambling is usually measured using gross impact studies. These studies focus only on the benefits and ignore costs, expenditure substitution effects and real and transfer effects (Fahrenkopf 1995). The lack of consideration for intangible benefits and costs is a major shortcoming.