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Economic Impact of Gambling


Gambling involves risking something of value (often money) on a chance event that has some degree of variability. People who gamble may bet with friends in a home setting or wager on games like blackjack and poker that involve skill. They may also place bets on sports events or horse races with family members and friends. Gambling is a large international commercial activity. People often use currency, but can also wager items of value such as collectible game pieces.

Many factors contribute to the development of gambling addiction, including underlying psychological and environmental issues. In addition, gambling can offer individuals a form of escapism or a source of thrill. It can also provide a sense of belonging and status, as well as meet the need for self-esteem. However, not everyone who engages in gambling will develop an addiction. It is important for people to engage in gambling within their means and to be aware of the risks involved.

Depending on the individual’s coping strategies, problem gambling can cause serious financial and emotional distress. It can also cause relationships to break down and lead to legal problems. Individuals can find relief from gambling addiction through professional treatment and support services.

Several studies have been conducted to estimate the economic impact of gambling. Typically, these studies have used gross impact measures. In addition, most of these studies do not attempt to identify costs or consider spillover effects. One exception is a study by Grinols and Omorov. Their research strays from traditional economic impact analysis by using benefit-cost analysis. This approach is an important advancement because it allows for the estimation of both benefits and externalities.