The effects of gambling are manifested on a number of levels, including personal, interpersonal, and societal. The financial impact of gambling is widely recognized, but the social cost is less well understood. Economic impacts include the costs of infrastructure and tourism, and changes in the value and financial circumstances of individuals. These effects contribute to overall economic activity. Other social impacts include the effects on health and well-being. Many of these effects are not related to the individual gambler, but involve social rather than personal consequences.
Governments regulate gambling operations to protect the functions of the industry while maintaining social stability. Increased gambling supplies raise costs in terms of regulation, which can result in negative social effects for those involved. Additionally, gambling-related research and professional training are a huge drain on government resources. Governments also bear the major costs related to gambling-related problems, including the emergence of new forms of gambling. In 2014-15 alone, the Victorian Government spent $52 million on gambling services.
While the impacts of gambling are often positive, research on the subject shows that the economic and social costs of the industry can be substantial. Various factors affect gambling’s impact, including the environment in which it is conducted, the games offered, and the effectiveness of the gambling policy. Several purposeful objectives of gambling impact studies are to illustrate the most significant effects of gambling, as well as compare them to the costs of alcohol consumption. A few studies have established basic principles for assessing gambling’s impacts.