Published on October 14th, 2020 | by minshewnetworks0
Positive and Negative Effects of Gambling on the Economy
Gambling is a controversial subject in some ways; however, there’s no denying that it’s a ridiculously popular activity. In 2019, the worldwide gambling market was said to be worth a staggering $58.9 billion, and that figure is widely predicted to grow in the next few years. In fact, by 2023, it may well be worth as much as $92.9 billion.
It’s clear that gambling is a widespread activity that isn’t going away any time soon. In 2020, the industry has experienced a huge disruption, just like all others, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While many land-based casinos and similar venues the world over remain shuttered, more and more people have been signing up to online casinos to get their gambling fix. And while major sporting events have been cancelled or delayed, people looking to gamble have resorted to playing casino games instead.
For this article, we’ll disregard 2020 as something of an off-year because of the pandemic and focus on gambling’s effects on the economy pre-pandemic. Now let’s have a look at the effects, both positive and negative, that gambling has on the economy.
First, we’ll have a look at land-based casinos. Even though online gambling is more popular, gambling at a land-based casino is still a huge industry in itself. The following places, in particular, have been able to thrive thanks to their casinos and the multiple gambling opportunities they offer:
- Las Vegas
- Monte Carlo
- Atlantic City
The casinos are especially great for the local economy as they generate a wide range of jobs – the bigger the site, the more jobs there are. They also attract tourists. The huge casino resorts with lots of entertainment offerings besides gambling, such as the many mega-resorts in Macau, are capable of attracting millions of tourists looking to spend their hard-earned money on the slots and other games.
In some places that are well known for their gambling opportunities, the casinos have become a key part of the local tourism industry. Many jobs in other areas exist because there are so many people coming to visit the casinos. In Las Vegas, for example, there are millions of people visiting every year to gamble, and all sorts of companies and businesses have come into existence and are able to thrive because of all this tourism. People may go to Vegas to gamble, but they stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, buy things from shops, watch shows, visit local tourist attractions – all these things benefit from having the tourist trade, and many of them wouldn’t prosper as much without the casinos bringing people to the city.
So what about online casinos? The main positive effect that online gambling has on the economy is to do with taxes. Gambling at online casinos has been seen as potentially more dangerous than playing at land-based casinos because online ones are a lot more accessible. Through a single home computer, you can easily access thousands of gambling sites and spend countless hours playing, all without having to leave the house.
However, in recent years certain governments have started making their laws on online gambling less strict. The main reason they’ve decided to legalise it is, of course, money. By legalising the act of gambling online, governments can tax it and use it as an extra source of revenue. This does, of course, mean that less money is going to the casino operators, but since it’s going to governments it could, at least, go towards projects that benefit people. That being said, it’s worth pointing out that casino operators aren’t just in it for the money. Most of them accept the responsibility they have and regularly donate funds to good causes, such as gambling addiction charities.
While gambling can have quite a few positive effects on the economy, it can also have some negative ones.
The main one is gambling addiction. Casino games, both land-based and online ones, can be very addictive indeed. What causes people to play them too much is the fact that you have a chance of winning actual money. Most gamblers are sensible enough to stick to their budget, not overdo things and not let themselves get carried away. However, some people who gamble end up spending too much time and money playing casino games.
In some of the more extreme cases, people end up getting into debt and can find themselves getting into a range of other problems. Some people who are the most severely affected by gambling addiction can even end up getting made redundant and losing their homes.
People addicted to gambling can cost society, in general, more than those who aren’t addicted to gambling. For example, many end up having to rely on some form of state benefit, and some even require additional medication and/or psychiatrist treatment to help them overcome the physical and mental afflictions that they’ve faced through gambling too much.
There’s also the fact that casinos can become too successful. When people gamble too much online, they’re spending large amounts of money at a gambling site, and that money could be going towards other things such as household expenses and leisure activities. When a land-based casino attracts large numbers of people, this can be good for the local economy, but there’s a risk that it can negatively affect local businesses. If a casino has facilities such as a bar and restaurant added to it, for example, this creates more competition for local venues, who may end up missing out on business.
In other words, gambling is something that people can end up spending too much money on. If this happens, and there are significant numbers of people spending large sums on it, this can have a negative effect on the economy because gambling is having too much money spent on it at the expense of other things.
The Growth of the Gambling Industry
As mentioned in the introduction, the gambling industry is almost certainly going to keep on getting bigger in the next few years. It’s hoped, obviously, that as the industry continues to grow, it has more positive effects on the economy and fewer negative effects. There will always be some negative ones, but these are mostly localised and don’t have as big of an impact on the larger economy as the positive ones. In other words, the effects that gambling has on the economy are mostly positive.
If we now take the pandemic into account, the good things the gambling industry can bring about are needed more than ever before. Sure, there are many people who can’t afford to gamble and don’t particularly want to, but there are still many who can, and there are still lots of casinos waiting to reopen and start employing people again.
Going forward, hopefully, the negative effects of gambling on the economy will be less prominent. Millions of people have had their finances affected by the pandemic and have less money to spend on non-important things like gambling. Even though online gambling has become more popular, hopefully, people have learned to be more sensible and are less likely to develop gambling problems as a result. As countries start opening up, what they want to see is casinos being as beneficial for the economy as possible by employing people and attracting gamblers (who should be gambling sensibly).
Gambling is a huge industry that has all sorts of effects. Whether you’re playing the latest Playtech slots for real money at a land-based casino or having a go at Konami free slots, you’re helping the industry grow. Overall, it does have a mostly positive effect on the economy as it creates and supports jobs, and it can help places become more appealing to tourists. Online gambling can also be beneficial, as it can be used as a way of a country’s government earning extra revenue that can be spent on important community projects and other such things.
In the coming years, as the world tries to get back to normal following the pandemic, it’s hoped that the effects gambling has on the economy will be a lot more positive and a lot less negative. Gambling does indeed have the potential to work wonders for the economy, especially at a local level.
Despite its at times negative reputation, gambling, on the whole, is actually a good thing. A large number of people are in employment thanks to it, and many people are able to have fun playing casino games as a casual hobby because there are lots of land-based and online casinos available. Its positive effects on the economy can’t be denied, and this is why more and more countries around the world are starting to take a more relaxed approach to it. While there will always be problems, as there are with practically every other industry, gambling is very much a great thing for the economy.