Social Costs of Gambling Harm in Italy
Keywords:gambling, gambling harm, high risk gamblers, social costs, public finances, addiction
The aim of this study is to provide an estimate of the social costs of gambling in Italy. In line with other research on social costs, the present study estimates the consequences of gambling harm on public finances, focusing on the estimated costs to treat high-risk gamblers, costs associated with productivity losses, costs of unemployment, personal and family costs, crime and legal costs. We used two different approaches to calculate these costs. The first approach, used for health care costs, consists of using the lump sum spent to prevent the harm caused to high-risk gamblers. The second approach involves estimating the number of high-risk gamblers causing the cost, which is then multiplied with the average unit cost per person. Our estimates of the annual social costs of gambling in Italy – more than EUR 2.3 billion – demonstrate a substantial economic burden to society. However, the costs are a substantial underestimate, as they are limited to those of a public nature and do not take into consideration those costs borne by moderate and low-risk gamblers, as well as affected others.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Fabio Lucchini, Simona Lorena Comi
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