Gambling is an activity that has both positive and negative impacts. These impacts may affect the gambler, his/her significant others, and the society/community at large. Negative impacts of gambling include financial, labor and health and well-being costs/benefits. The negative impacts may have long-term consequences. The positive impacts may have short-term effects, and they are often ignored.
While the positive aspects of gambling are often overlooked, many people still wonder what is the true cost of gambling. Generally, the cost of gambling is viewed as being non-monetary, as compared to the benefits which are monetary. However, studies tend to focus on only the economic costs and benefits, which are quite easy to quantify and measure. This approach tends to ignore important social costs and benefits.
Some of the biggest positives of gambling are the enjoyment, relaxation and entertainment that can be gained from it. Especially with sports betting, there is always the thrill of anticipation and excitement when placing a bet. Additionally, gambling can be a great social activity as it allows friends to enjoy the same activities together, and it is common for groups of friends to organize special trips to casinos or even to the races.
Longitudinal studies of gambling are becoming more common and sophisticated, but they are still not abundant. This is due to a variety of practical and logistical obstacles. These include the massive funding required for a multiyear commitment; problems with maintaining research team continuity over a long period of time; the risk that repeated testing will affect gamblers’ behavior and behavioral reports; and the knowledge that longitudinal data confound aging and period effects.