There are a lot of effects of gambling. These impacts are positive and negative, ranging from financial and labor costs to health and well-being. They are also social and societal. Internal gambling impacts are personal and interpersonal while external ones affect the community and society as a whole. External gambling impacts include negative long-term effects as well as the impacts of problem gambling. The social impacts of gambling are discussed below. But what are the costs of gambling?
Positive effects of gambling on physical and mental health
The positive effects of gambling are many and varied, ranging from direct negative impacts to indirect benefits. Indirect benefits include a strengthened community economy. Problem gambling can change the course of a person’s life. Additionally, money spent on gambling can be channeled toward causes that are beneficial to a person’s health. Although some of these impacts are detrimental, they should not be ignored. Therefore, it is vital to identify the positives and negatives of gambling for individuals.
The effects of gambling are also observed at the community, interpersonal, and individual level. Problem gamblers are more likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, including smoking and excessive television viewing. Other studies show a correlation between problem gambling and substance use disorders. Problem gamblers are more likely to experience substance abuse problems, with between twenty-eight percent and 17 percent suffering from alcohol use disorders. While the negative effects of gambling may seem remote, their long-term effects can be significant.
Pathological effects of problem gambling
Several psychological, social, and physical consequences of pathological gambling have been documented. Pathological gamblers are at increased risk for stress-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease and peptic ulcer disease. They are also more likely to develop major depressive episodes and anxiety disorders, and may experience impaired decision-making. These effects can be permanent, but can often resolve themselves over time once a gambler learns to control their behavior.
Current treatments for pathological gambling incorporate a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and self-help groups. Psychological interventions have a similar therapeutic approach to those used to treat substance use disorders. The majority of pathological gamblers have a history of psychiatric illness. Psychological therapies may help those who are addicted to gambling to break free. Further research is needed to better understand the brain mechanisms that contribute to pathological gambling.
Impacts of problem gambling on job performance
The U.S. Congress excluded gambling from the definition of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has contributed to the poor treatment of problem gamblers. These outdated perceptions have also caused employers to treat problem gamblers poorly. Dr. Broffman speaks to employers and business groups about the issue. However, these discussions are not easy. In fact, it is important to know what to say and how to say it to avoid creating an environment of blame.
It is essential to recognize that problem gambling negatively impacts employment. It can result in reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, deteriorated working relationships, and even termination. In Finland, 40% of problem gamblers report that their gambling negatively affects their job performance, and 61% missed work to gamble. In Finland, treatment-seeking gamblers evaluated their work performance, fatigue, and distractions in their jobs.
Costs of problem gambling
A recent cost-of-illness study, conducted in Sweden, estimated the societal costs of problem gambling. The study uses the incidence or prevalence method to measure costs and included a variety of factors, including the number of affected gamblers, cost of the treatment and prevention measures, and earmarked research grants. This bottom-up approach was used to calculate the costs of problem gambling, and it was based on data from the Swedish Health Survey. The costs were then multiplied by the number of problem gamblers, and by the average unit cost per person. The Swedish study included a population of 123,000-170,000 problem gamblers, and the Czech study included between 40,000 and 80,000 pathological gamblers.
In addition to the costs that an individual gambler incurs, an employer has other costs associated with problem gambling. These costs are associated with extended lunch breaks, phone time, Internet use, and time spent dealing with crisis situations. A study in Quebec found that problem gambling among employees costs employers an average of 5 hours of lost work time per month. If a problem gambler is earning $30k annually, this would translate to $5 million in lost wages each year. Other costs could be incurred through employee theft or embezzlement.Read More