Effects of Gambling


Effects of Gambling

The rise of gambling in most parts of the world resulted from the acceptance that gambling is a source of recreation and its economic benefits and tax benefits in the associated communities. As more individuals continue to engage in different forms of gambling, it continues to influence the economy since it involves the exchange of money for one party to another. Gambling is a game which has existed for a long time, but it becomes more popular after the Second World War. In the year 2008, more than 26 million people gambled in the state of Indiana generating more than $2.6billion in win (Landers, 2009). Landers also argue that gambling brought about income inequalities especially from taxation than other income generating activities due to the complex nature of the game. In the UK, more people are investing in gambling totaling to millions of Dollars and the returns on investment is also good (Stuart, 2007). According to Stuart, the increased number of Casinos has exposed the young and vulnerable children to social problems like prostitution and drug trafficking. The economy of an area improves due to increased businesses from the people involved in gambling, and the taxes levied by the state are also significant (Stuart, 2007). About 48% of the population will attempt to gamble if a casino is located within their locality because they will be attracted by it (Union, 2013). According to Union, in New Hampshire, the total worth of casino investment total to about $180 million and the government takes about 30 to 40 percent of this in taxes.

Most of the states in the USA have legalized gambling despite opposition from Non Governmental Organizations over the social effects to the communities. Before 1989, only Nevada had legalized gambling and by 1995, 8 states had legalized gambling even though gambling was done in other states but illegally (Walker, 2009). Easy tax benefits have encouraged other states to legalize gambling so that they can enjoy the tax benefits and the leisure that comes with the game. Today, there are fifteen states that allow commercial casinos and they are operated by private companies and private individuals (Yahoo). The states according to yahoo data are Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, and Washington. According to California State library, most of the states are enjoying huge financial benefits from taxes levied from gambling and the associated activities.

Advantages of gambling

The tax revenues for countries states that have legalized gambling are very significant to the development of the economy. Some states have been shown to earn as high as eight percent of their budget from gambling business, and the figure has continued to rise over time (Walker, 2009). According to walker, good results from casino gambling and rotaries are impressive that most states are considering legalizing other forms of gambling like horse racing. The tax gains from gambling facilities is higher (30%) compared to tax from the direct sales therefore, most states cannot risk losing the luxurious gambling practice due to its tax benefits.

Casinos are always associated with crime, and since it has, been found that it’s the perfect place where criminals make use of their money (Walker, 2009). The presence of casinos is known to attract tourist who carry cash and therefore, criminals find it as a perfect place to make their strikes. According to Walker, there are high rates of crime in states where casinos are legalized as opposed to states where casinos are prohibited. Casino promotes crimes due to luxurious nature of the business.  The presence of casinos also encourages laziness to the youths who most often find it as a perfect resting place instead of being creative in doing something constructive. The job opportunities created from gambling both directly and indirectly is quite significant to the economy of a state. Direct jobs come with the management of gambling facilities while indirect jobs are mainly from the neighborhood due to indirect business involvements. Casinos created about 50,000 jobs in Atlantic City both directly and indirectly by the years and more than half a million jobs in the United States. The construction industry which employs a lot of people gains when gambling facilities are constructed thereby offering job opportunities and generates income. Tourism is facilitated when people move form one place to another in search of gambling facilities thereby creating job directly and indirectly to the community.

 Disadvantages of gambling

The major negative social impact of gambling is the increase in and drug abuse and prostitution especially to the participants. Children and young adults are the most susceptible given that they are more likely to visit casinos in search of leisure mostly during the night (Walker 2009).

The effect on the per capita bankruptcy rates is higher in states where gambling is legal as compared to states where gambling is illegal (Walker, 2009). The nature of gambling is exposing most of individuals to the risk of losing huge amounts of their earned cash which can have a tragic effect to an individual. Walker also argues that the bankruptcy level in Atlantic City where gambling is highly practiced is twice as much the rates of Nevada which is enough evidence to show that gambling increases the risk of bankruptcy. The problem of bankruptcy is also associated with family suicides which are also brought about by financial problems courtesy of gambling. Other social problems associated with gambling include family disputes which are on the rise in most of the gambling states. A lot of divorce cases are reported coupled with family conflicts thanks to the availability of gambling facilities in the neighborhoods.


Just like any other activity, gambling has its pros and cons in the society. It’s upon the come up with ways of controlling this business so that poses no threat to the society. With the financial gains and the community acceptance, gambling business poses a bright future.



Landers, Jim (2009, April 01). Future Casino Tax Yields: What Recent Trends in Casino Wagering and Attendance Suggest. Indiana Business Review, (1), 7, retrieved from http://elibrary.bigchalk.com

ARNOLD, S. “Roll of the dice pays off as Teesside wins the chance to build large casino.” Northern  Echo. 2007, January 31: 09.

California State Library (2013). Economic effects of Gambling.

“Think tank: Casinos are a big gamble.” Union Leader. 2013, April 13: A1.

Yahoo answers. Retrievedfromhttp://<answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070420191A9XY0g

Walker, Douglas (2009  Oct 23). The Economic Effects of Casino Gambling: A Perspective from the US