Facts About Gambling


Most of us gamble at some point in our lives. Responsible gambling means knowing the odds and when to quit. Responsible gambling is a good way to pass time without risking your finances. Listed below are some facts about gambling:

Economic cost-benefit analysis

Although economic cost-benefit analyses of gambling have many positive impacts, it is important to recognize that the activities affect more than the economy. Gambling is not only a form of entertainment; it can have detrimental consequences on personal relationships and society. While gambling is a popular form of leisure, the long-term impacts of this activity can be devastating. Gamblers often end up bankrupt, affecting the finances of their families and generating social care costs.

Impacts of problem gambling on society

Researchers are looking for better ways to quantify the social and economic costs of problem gambling. The most common approach, gross impact studies, focuses on a single aspect of the effects of gambling and does not purport to provide a balanced perspective. Gross impact studies tend to emphasize the economic benefits of gambling and minimize the negative impacts, thus resulting in a simplified accounting of the aggregate effects of gambling. In addition, these studies tend to ignore important aspects of the gambling problem, such as expenditure substitution and geographic scope of analysis.

Treatment options for problem gamblers

Problem gamblers can seek treatment in a variety of ways. Medications can help with co-occurring psychiatric disorders, which can often drive problem gambling behavior. Peer support groups may be particularly helpful for people suffering from gambling addiction. However, there is no conclusive evidence that these services help with problem gambling. Unfortunately, gambling addiction continues to grow, despite the availability of effective treatments.

Legality of gambling in most states

While online gambling and interstate gambling are prohibited under federal law, many states have legalized the gambling industry within their own borders. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, however, effectively outlawed sports betting nationwide. The United States Supreme Court later found this act unconstitutional, but the ban remains in effect. Today, gambling is legal in 48 states, including the District of Columbia. While gambling is not legal in Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah, most states have regulated their own forms of gambling.

Social costs of problem gambling

An estimate of the social costs of problem gambling in Wisconsin was released by Thompson et al., who conducted a survey of 98 problem gamblers in 1995. These gamblers were predominantly white and male and reported an average duration of serious problem gambling of 6.5 years. In addition, the study estimated the costs of non-pathological gambling. Although these figures are far from perfect, they provide a good indication of the scope of problem gambling in New Zealand.