The positive benefits of gambling are multifaceted despite the deeply ingrained belief that it is a harmful pastime activity. Gambling has positive effects on health, economies and society. Scholars from the four corners of the world have studied this form of entertainment and come up with interesting theories that confirm the statement given above.
For instance, the study carried out by a group of Southern Illinois Univerisity professors and researchers from 2013 showed that the elders had felt happier while engaged in gambling activities. The study was conducted by Mark R. Dixon, Becky L. Nastally and Amber Waterman, behaviour analysts who assessed the effect gambling had had on residents of a nursing home. This study proves both the social and health benefits of gambling.
Research conducted by Patrick Basham and John Luik in 2011 at the Democracy Institute, a think tank based in Washington, DC and London, focused on the social benefits of gambling. It showed that people from all walks of life want to enjoy their freedom to do what they want with their own money.
When it comes to the economic benefits of gambling, they include increased tax revenue and more employment opportunities. Overall, gambling is good for the economy. The regulation of casino gambling can boost the growth of local economies and help governments improve budgets.
- Gambling makes players happier
- Gambling improves intelligence
- Gambling helps for knowing new people
- Gambling helps local economies
- Gambling makes people have fun
- Gambling help for money
- Government collects taxes
- Gambling casinos create jobs
- Gambling reduces stress
- Gambling improves concentration
Benefits of Gambling
Let’s find out more about each of these benefits.
1. Gambling Makes Players Happier
While we are engaged in gambling activities, our bodies produce endorphins and adrenaline. This is why gambling makes players happier. Some studies have shown that people feel happy after a gambling session even if they have lost money. A 2009 study showed that more than 90% of the participants had loss thresholds they would not go below. Still, the researchers from the University of Stanford in California found out that losses the players had experienced while visiting a casino had not necessarily affected the overall enjoyment they had felt.
2. Improves Intelligence
The good things about casinos and online casinos are that they improve players’ skills and intelligence. While it is considered a lower form of pleasure, gambling teaches players to be more observant through studying numbers and patterns and learning strategies. So, gambling can make players smarter.
The team of four authors from the University of Liverpool published a working paper in Economics in which they examined whether gambling was a tax on stupidity and how a person’s IQ predicted their betting behaviour. According to them, intelligence is a positive predictor of gambling success. Their results have also shown that intelligent individuals enjoy gambling as a form of entertainment.
3. Helps for knowing new people
Gambling’s social benefits are meeting new people and making friends. When going to a casino, people can socialise, meaning that gambling brings people together. It particularly applies to table games like roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat or poker, where players can interact with each other. Through gambling, casino-goers can get to know new people and expand their social networks.
4. Helps for Local Economies
The positive effects of gambling on local economies are numerous. According to an article published on The European Business Review portal, the casino industry has provided approximately 600,000 jobs in the USA alone. The article cites the results of a study conducted by John Beshears and his colleagues from Stanford University that showed that the gambling industry had generated $7 billion for state and local governments in the US.
Besides, gambling is a popular form of entertainment that attracts tourists. For instance, more than 42 million people visited Las Vegas in 2019, the Statista portal reports.
5. Gambling Makes People Have Fun
Most casino-goers simply want to have fun. A study carried out in 2014 by Richard Wood of GamRes Ltd. in Canada, and Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University in the UK showed that people who were in control of their gambling habits played for fun. Although they liked the idea of possibly winning big, these people, also known as positive players, set limits on how much money and time they could spend gambling. More than 90% of positive players who took part in this study gambled at online casinos.
6. Help for Money
Players who manage their bankrolls efficiently can feel the positive effect of gambling on their finances. Although most players enjoy gambling for fun, some of them end up winning. If they know when to stop, they can cash out their gains and use them to afford some other enjoyable activity, like travel or cruise.
7. Government Collects Taxes
In most countries, governments do not tax winnings obtained from gambling activities. Instead, they tax casino operators. However, there are some instances where gambling winnings can be subject to taxes as well.
For example, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) does not tax money obtained through gambling as an income. So, if you are a lucky winner, you will not have to not share your gains with the government. However, if you own a gambling business and engage in gambling activities as a professional gambler, the ATO will consider your gains as an income and they will be subject to a tax.
In the USA, where around 40% of adults visit brick-and-mortar casinos in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, winnings obtained through gambling are fully taxable. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the authority that will tax all kinds of gambling winnings, including those obtained through lotteries, game shows, horse races and more. So, US gamblers will have to pay a 24% tax if their winnings exceed certain amounts. For instance, if you win more than $1,200 at slot machines or bingo, you will have to give a share to the IRS. The same goes for winnings of $1,500 and more at keno or $5,000 or more at lotteries or poker. On the other hand, taxes on winnings from skill-based games like blackjack are not charged immediately, but players still have to report them and pay them.
8. Gambling Casinos Create Jobs
Both land-based and online gambling industry creates jobs, and more jobs mean more money for local economies. While brick-and-mortar casinos employ dealers, waiters and other personnel that take care of customers on-site, online gambling needs other profiles as well. Online casinos need developers, SEO experts, content writers, marketing managers and more. Although these staff can be outsourced, meaning that people who will fill these positions do not have to be employed by a casino itself, they will be hired and paid for the services they provide.
9. Reduces Stress
If a player gambles responsibly, gambling can reduce the stress they feel. In this case, gambling is not a coping mechanism, but a way to unwind. To enjoy gambling as a relaxing activity, one should consider playing their favourite casino games with an amount they can afford to lose.
10. Gambling Improves Concentration
Gambling can not only improve your intelligence but also your concentration. When playing casino games, gamblers must focus on the gameplay, which can be beneficial for their concentration in general.
Is Gambling Good for the Health?
Yes, gambling is good and beneficial for health because it makes players happier and reduces stress. Personal benefits from gambling also include improved intelligence and concentration as well as a better social life.
Is Gambling Good for the Economy?
Yes, gambling is good and beneficial for the economy because it enables governments to collect taxes and creates jobs.
Is Gambling Good for Society?
Overall, gambling is good for society as it provides opportunities for local economies to grow while people have fun and become less stressed.
What are the Harms of Gambling?
All the benefits and positive effects of gambling apply only if players enjoy this form of entertainment responsibly. The harms and effects of gambling are, like benefits, multifaceted. They apply to both individuals and society. For individuals, the harms of gambling can be stress, depression and gambling addiction. As for society, problem gambling can lead to bankruptcy, an increase in criminal activities including domestic abuse, a surge in suicide rates and more.
Is Legalizing Gambling Beneficial?
Yes, legalizing gambling is beneficial not only for players who can enjoy their favourite leisure activity without worries about the safety of their funds or the fairness of gameplay but also for local and state economies. True economic benefits of gambling can be felt only in the markets where gambling has been fully legalized and regulated.
Is Sports Gambling More Beneficial than Online Casino Gambling?
Sports gambling or betting can be more beneficial than online casino gambling for players who are into sports. Those who prefer casino games will have more fun playing them on gambling sites.
One of the reasons why sports betting may be a better option than online casino gambling is that the player can place a single bet on a sports event and wait for the outcome. On the other hand, online casino sessions typically last longer and require more money.