Various effects of gambling are evident on the individual, interpersonal, and societal levels. The financial impacts of gambling can be measured by examining changes in tax revenues, infrastructure costs, and changes in value and financial situations of gamblers. Economic activity is directly affected by gambling. Other effects include social and psychological well-being. Among the positive impacts of gambling are its economic benefits, as it contributes to public health and other services. However, fewer studies have examined the negative impacts of gambling on gamblers.
The cost of illness approach is common in the literature on alcohol and drugs, but neglects the benefits of gambling. In economic cost-benefit analysis, researchers assess gambling’s social and economic costs in common units. In this method, gambling-related harms are valued in common units. The authors also consider the harms that gambling causes to nongamblers. These studies often underestimate the positive effects of gambling, especially on those affected by problem gambling.
Generally, gambling is low-risk in terms of chance. Participants in lottery programs have an equal chance of winning and losing. The amount a gambler pays to join the lottery game is a small fraction of the cost of a lottery ticket. In addition, he or she receives the chance to win a jackpot. Moreover, the government has its own lottery programs, where the winners can win high-demand items like a Green Card, a visa to reside in the United States, and other prizes. However, such government programs have been accused of being addictive in the past, but they are not expensive.