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                Alice Rap Science finding 16 – socio-economic costs of gambling 

It is clear that the increasing availability and varied forms of gambling and gaming will have socio-economic impacts, but the reliability of estimates of these is hampered by research gaps 

The landscape of gambling throughout Europe has dramatically changed within the past decade; with an explosion in availability and access to gambling and gaming with the rise in internet venues and mobile access points, increase in development of land-based venues, and accompanying changes in regulation, treatment options for problem gambling and prevention.

As part of the broader work on costs of addictions, ALICE RAP scientists attempted to study the social costs (including costs to those other than the user) of gambling and gaming for three EU jurisdictions - Poland, Portugal and Catalonia - using a review methodology. Within this context, gambling was included with the aim of:

Recent trends with regard to use of techniques and problem gambling and responsible gaming were analysed, across different market segments (casinos, lotteries, remote gambling).

The resulting estimates of the costs and benefits associated with the expansion of gambling are widely disparate, due to the significant data gaps, methodological issues and inconsistency amongst existing data sources. There is considerably less available data concerning the impacts of gambling on the individual, his/her family and society than is available for alcohol, drugs and tobacco. There is little doubt that additional, systematic research within the EU is necessary in order to reliably assess the economic and social costs associated with gambling availability and expansion.  The social cost studies carried out in ALICE RAP are merely a “snapshot” in time, but indicate the need for future research to be able to reliably measure true benefits and costs associated with gambling and gaming.

Read more: 


Derevensky JL & Remmers P (2015) Social costs of gambling and gaming – Part III of the ALICE RAP Deliverable D6.1: Social costs: a report specifying the costs of addiction to societies         

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