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Casino Gambling - Its Impact On Economies, Society And Individuals


Casinos are big money churners. The word ‘casino’ brings to the mind, the images of money, glamour and power for some. For others, it could mean social degeneration and tacky glitz. Whichever side you belong to, the word ‘casino’ sparks of a curiosity like no other form of entertainment. The economic impact of the casino culture and social impact of gambling on an individual and society as a whole cannot be ignored. Well, it can generally be said that there is very less authentic information on the economic and social outcome of the gambling industry. Though a lot of research on this topic has been done, it is usually by groups who either support or oppose gambling. Casino and gambling go hand in hand. The former thrives on the latter, whereas the latter could mean so much more than casinos. A few points need to be pondered first:




Are the economic benefits of gambling in casinos for real?

How true is the social impact of gambling on individuals and society?

Do the benefits actually override the costs?

Who benefits and who loses from the casino culture?

Does gambling in casinos actually promote tourism and other industries?

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Economic pros and cons of casino gambling

Pros of casino gambling:

Casinos create employment opportunity: The casino gambling industry is said to have some positive effects on host economies. The most important one being that it creates employment opportunities for a whole lot of people in the casinos and other sectors like the hotel and resorts industry, retail sector in the area and tourism industry in general. The common notion here is that for a casino’s construction, maintenance and operation labour is required, both skilled as well as unskilled which can be sourced from the local area. This, in turn will create a slew of employment opportunities and thereby boost the local economy.

  • Casino gambling generates tax revenue:
    People who propagate the economic benefits of casinos consider it as a massive windfall addition to the coffers of the state. It is said to be a major contributor to the state GDP. With many of the casinos now being run by corporate houses and the casino gambling industry and its operations being streamlined and accounted for, the industry could definitely be a major contributor to the revenues of the state.
  • Casinos promote retail sector in the local area
    With the whole concept of casino gambling undergoing a huge image change as an entertainment and gaming industry, and casino theme based resorts coming up, there’s something for everyone in it. A lot of hotels and resorts mushroom in the host economy, followed by a general increase in consumer retail, theme parks and the like. The Casinos are then promoted as tourist vacation hotspots. This could very much increase tourist inflows to this destination. There is a surge in general income and revenue in the local area.

The impact of casino gambling on individuals

Economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “people are the biggest denominators of progress”. The economic and social progress can only be meaningful and true by its effect on individuals and families. Hence the real value addition of casinos to an economy is purposeful only if it benefits the locals and the indigenous society and culture of the neighbourhood.

Cons of casino gambling

The social costs and economic downsides of casino gambling are: • The social downside of the industry is that there is a touted increase in crime rate in and around the casinos. • The above point is a major reason for the residential property values of the local area not increasing on par with the so-called state economic development.

Also, there is the whole gambling addiction angle to this industry. Unlike many other forms of entertainment, the casino gambling environment is designed to be so absorbing that it leads to several locals becoming compulsive gamblers

Many economic and social observers also point out that casino gambling contributing to the overall economy is only a myth, because statistics do not match the propaganda of casino’s positive role in the state’s economic development.

Well, the people who usually benefit from casinos are the casino owners, the political establishment and the corporate houses who run or tie-up with the casinos. The common man usually ends up losing more than he intended to.

The veracity of the statement that economic benefits outweigh the social costs is yet to be established.

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