Social Consequences of Gambling


Many studies of gambling have focused on the economic benefits and costs, but few have explored the social consequences. These costs are generally non-monetary and include both immediate and long-term impacts. While some of the invisible costs become visible at the community or society level, the majority remain unrecognized. Nevertheless, a conceptual model based on these costs is helpful for assessing gambling harms at various levels.

Gambling is a form of recreation that can affect a person’s physical and mental well-being in a variety of ways. While it may seem like a harmless way to pass time, problem gambling can have long-term consequences on a person’s life and relationships. The social and financial effects of problem gambling are far-reaching, and they can manifest themselves in the form of social care costs.

While gambling is widely available in the United States, there are a variety of regulations on gambling. Federal legislation limits the types and methods of gambling. For example, it is illegal to transport lottery tickets across state lines without the consent of the state. Additionally, Congress has used its Commerce Clause power to regulate gambling in Native American territories. These regulations have included prohibiting the unauthorized transportation of lottery tickets between states, restricting sports betting on Native American land, and banning gambling in tribal areas.

Gambling is an industry with billions of dollars in wagered each year. Statistics show that the legal gambling market was estimated at $335 billion in 2009. Gambling activities may be conducted with non-monetary materials. A player of marbles may stake his marbles to win a game, while a player of Magic: The Gathering might stake collectible game pieces.