Public Health Effects of Gambling
Gambling for money is a common leisure time practice in most countries, with substantial social and economic impacts impacting not only the gambler but his / her substantial others, as well as society. Gambling effect studies will help researchers and politicians compare the health and social costs and benefits of different gambling policies, and can be used when deciding which gambling policies would either minimize or improve costs or benefits. In a public health framework, negative and positive effects of gambling are measured across the activity’s entire continuum of severity.
Gambling consequences may be organized using a conceptual model, in which impacts are divided into negative and positive; costs and benefits. Costs and benefits are grouped into three categories: income, labor and health, and well-being. In intimate, interpersonal, and societal levels, these groups manifest. Individual impacts cause gamblers themselves to encounter consequences on a personal level. External effects affect the interpersonal and the level of society/community, and influence other individuals. The temporal level refers to gambling affect growth, frequency, and scale. These include general impacts, problem gambling impacts, and gambling long term impacts.
The conceptual model provides a framework on which to begin constructing that methodology for evaluating the social effect of gambling. Although it is not always easy to calculate monetary impacts, the key problem is how to quantify social impacts that are usually overlooked in estimates, as are personal and interpersonal impacts. The empirical research reviewed focused primarily on gambling costs, particularly community-level costs. The Model can be used to classify areas that are scarce for study.
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