Gambling Impact Assessment
Gambling is the act of risking something of value on a random event in the hope of winning another item of value. It may be as simple as placing a bet with friends or it can be much more complex, such as investing in an unproven technology in the hopes of a future high demand. While some people enjoy gambling, many others find it to be an addictive activity that causes them great distress and pain. There are several types of treatment available for those with a gambling disorder, including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and family counseling. These treatments can help patients change their thinking patterns, confront irrational beliefs about the likelihood of winning, and learn to manage their emotions in healthy ways.
While some people can gamble successfully, for others it is a major problem that affects their personal and social life. In addition to harming their mental and physical health, it can interfere with work and study performance, lead to debt and homelessness, and damage relationships. Problem gambling is also a contributing factor to criminal acts, such as embezzlement and theft of company property. It is estimated that more than 40% of those who have a gambling problem have lost touch with friends and family, while more than 60% are unemployed and living in poverty.
There are various types of gambling, from scratchcards to video slots, and the majority of gambling activities are legal in most countries. Most countries have casinos, horse racetracks, and even online gambling websites. Despite the legality of gambling, there are still serious problems with it. Problem gamblers often lose control of their spending and are unable to stop gambling, leading them into debt or bankruptcy. They may also be unable to meet their financial obligations, such as child support or mortgage payments. In severe cases, problem gambling can lead to domestic abuse, homicide, and suicide.
Many governments are trying to address these problems by introducing more restrictive rules on gambling. They are concerned that the current rules encourage problem gambling, which can have a negative impact on their economy. However, there are those who support gambling for its economic benefits. These include elected government leaders, bureaucrats who are promised gambling revenue, and business owners who will profit from a new casino. Miles’ Law predicts that those who stand to gain from a gambling initiative will support it.
A typical gambling impact assessment model focuses on benefits and costs at three levels. Benefits and costs at the personal and interpersonal level are invisible to the gambler, but they can turn into external impacts at the society/community level. These external impacts are monetary in nature and can be classified as general cost/benefits, costs of problem gambling, and long-term costs/benefits.