The effects of casino gambling can be both beneficial and detrimental. While it seems that casinos are good for the community, they actually only benefit certain industries and target groups. For example, a casino located in Illinois may not improve job opportunities in the surrounding area. Garrett (2004) found that casinos in rural or developing areas tend not to create local jobs, instead hiring skilled labor from outside the region. These effects are particularly problematic for small cities that already have limited resources.
The costs associated with pathological gambling are not just extraneous to society; they are costs that are transferred from one problem category to another. These costs, however, should be included in the analysis of the effects of casino gambling on the economy. These costs are often temporary, as the money will eventually be repaid. It is important to consider that pathological gambling debt may not be the entire debt burden that causes bankruptcy. For example, a person could end up owing over $100 million, but only have a portion of that amount.
There are many other effects of casino gambling. The impact on social structures is particularly problematic for elderly people. Seniors who are prone to cognitive impairment, dementia, and depression are at a greater risk of succumbing to the computerized slots. The layout of a casino and the medication can also interfere with judgment. A sudden heart attack may happen while a senior is playing slots. Thankfully, most casinos are equipped with a cardiac defibrillator for these situations.
The economic effects of casino gambling on the community are intangible, but they are real. The money that casino visitors spend on food, beverages, and sporting goods is directly tied to the local economy. Some of this money goes to suppliers, the owners of the gambling establishment, or outside investors. Thus, these benefits ‘leak’ into the surrounding community. However, this is not the whole story. There are a number of other effects associated with the economic activity of a casino.
Compared to the negative effects of casino gambling, Macau and Singapore residents have better attitudes towards the industry. Overall, the benefits outweigh the negative impacts. Both Macau and Singapore residents recognize the positive impacts of casino gambling on their cities. These positive impacts may be offset by other extensively influencing factors, like government policy. The survey results also support these conclusions. While some negative effects of casino gambling can be detrimental, they are worth noting.
There is considerable debate about whether casino gambling has negative social effects. This is largely due to the fact that most countries launch casino gambling for economic reasons. While the positive economic effects of casino gambling are more readily visible to casual gamblers, the more frequent gamblers may not recognize these effects and may not even realize the positive ones. In fact, these negative impacts are also related to the individuals’ attitude toward gambling, which correlated with all other dimensions of social impact.