The impacts of gambling on society and public services are clear, but less attention has been paid to the negative consequences of the activity. While gambling generates significant revenues for governments and other organizations, it has a number of negative impacts. Intangible social costs of gambling can be quantified by health-related quality of life weights, or disability weights. These weights measure the burden of a person’s health on their quality of life. Furthermore, they allow researchers to investigate the social costs of gambling and its detrimental impact on the lives of the gamblers’ families and friends.
Evidence of gambling in ancient Chinese culture
The earliest written records of board games in Ancient China mention the use of a keno slip, a type of lottery, as a way to keep track of the balance of military campaigns. In addition, manipulation of hexagrams brought the fields of number, cosmology, and writing together. Evidence of gambling in ancient Chinese culture is as old as 2300 BC. The Chinese people are credited with the invention of these games.
This belief in change and the ability to predict the future are two of the factors contributing to the Chinese gambling habit. The belief that things change will make them better off may help Chinese gamblers maintain a positive attitude even when they have a losing streak. This belief may reflect a common fallacy in gambling, where gamblers perceive change and the potential for change. Regardless of the reasons for Chinese gamblers’ beliefs, they may have had a similar experience as ancient Europeans, despite the fact that they did not have the luxury to learn about the nature of fortune-telling.
Impacts of gambling on society
The negative effects of gambling on society have been acknowledged by concerned citizens and institutions. A study by the National Gambling Board in South Africa looked at the negative impacts of gambling on society, specifically on the poor and less wealthy. The report cited domestic violence, crime, financial difficulties, and stress related illnesses as some of the social costs of excessive gambling. This study also looked at the economic costs of gambling as well as the social service costs associated with gambling.
The cost of gambling on society is difficult to quantify, and there is no single, precise definition of what constitutes a societal expense. Further, it is difficult to identify the exact causes of gambling-related problems, since these are often the result of underlying conditions, like mental illness or life circumstances. Thus, most studies discount the costs by applying a causality adjustment factor (CAAF), which assumes that 80% of problem gamblers would still suffer social costs if they were not gambling.
Treatment options for compulsive gamblers
While there are no FDA-approved medications for gambling addiction, many pharmaceutical approaches have shown promise. Opioid antagonists and lithium have been shown to reduce anxiety and reduce problem-gambling severity in clinical trials. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can help people with gambling addiction overcome their addiction through new thinking and coping skills. Some gamblers also benefit from family therapy. However, many people have difficulty accepting this form of treatment.
The most effective treatment for gambling addiction involves a combination of behavioral and cognitive therapies. CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy, teaches an individual new skills to control impulses, identify triggers, and cope with stressful situations. Psychotherapy, in particular, helps the patient learn to recognize the connection between the triggers that encourage gambling, as well as develop a supportive and effective support system. Ultimately, effective treatment for gambling addiction involves a combination of treatment and lifestyle changes.