Attitudes toward gambling vary greatly since the once thought “mob-related” activity to current government controlled gaming. For most, gambling has become a social norm with casinos, keno, bingo, scratch off tickets, and lottery terminals within a short distance from our backyards.
Gambling is often considered a type of ‘voluntary taxation,’ with most gamblers not expecting a financial gain.
One of the positive social impacts of gambling is that it provides entertainment value and an additional leisure option. However, the act of gambling is of primary value to a fairly small segment of the population. Nonetheless, it is clear that too many people who enjoy buying an occasional lottery ticket or going to the casino, it is a valued recreational activity.
One of the main negative impacts of gambling is problem gambling. Depending on the country, the year, and the assessment instrument, the prevalence of problem gambling ranges from 0.4% to 7.5%. There are social monetary effects however surprisingly, the bulk of the impact tends to be non-monetary. Many of the social non-monetary effects include mental health and physical concerns, suicide, family problems, divorce, and the potential for intergenerational modeling of excessive gambling.
Gambling is a personal choice. Know the risks.
If you or someone you know would like to discuss your gambling choices email Marilyn@zepfcenter.org or call 419-841-7701 ext. 6058.
There is hope and free treatment available to gamblers and their loved ones.