Gambling impacts a wide range of people and society on both a personal and a societal level. These impacts range from negative to positive, from social to economic. They are often long-term, and can affect the lives of individuals, families, and communities. In many cases, gambling can lead to homelessness and bankruptcy.
The social impacts of gambling are not as well documented. Most studies have focused on the individual level. But the economic impact of gambling is more evident. Social impacts are often reflected in the cost to tourism and the infrastructure that support casino entertainment. On a personal level, social impacts are often invisible but can become visible if gambling affects the gambler’s family members. In some cases, these costs are long-term and invisible to the gambler and their family.
Socioeconomic effects of gambling have not been studied as thoroughly as the effects of problem gambling, but there are some evidence-based ways to analyze the effects of gambling on society. For example, one study looked at the economic costs of addiction to gambling. This approach was common in alcohol and drug research, but it does not consider the benefits of gambling. Using a public health approach can provide a more balanced picture of gambling’s effects on society.
In the United States, the total amount of money wagered annually is estimated at $10 trillion. However, this figure does not include illegal gambling. The largest form of gambling is lottery gambling, and state-licensed lotteries have grown rapidly in the United States and Europe over the last century. In addition, organized football pools are widespread in most European countries, in some South American countries, and in some African and Asian countries. Most countries also offer state-licensed wagering on other sporting events.