Current Addiction Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 293–298 | Cite as

Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling

  • Douglas M. Walker
  • Russell S. Sobel
Gambling (J Derevensky, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Gambling


Purpose of Review

This paper is a review of the recent academic literature on the socioeconomic impacts of gambling. The purpose is to provide a review of the most recent contributions to the growing literature regarding the economic and social impacts of gambling, with a focus on casinos. We divide our review into two sections: economic impacts and social impacts.

Recent Findings

Better data availability across a wider set of jurisdictions has resulted in improved research quality in recent contributions to this literature.


The most recent literature in this area suggests that casinos often have at least a modestly positive economic impact on their host economies. It is more difficult to measure the social impacts, and the net social impacts of casinos remain unclear. The variety of conclusions from recent research suggests that the industry’s impacts vary with characteristics of the hosting state, country, or regional economy.


Social costs Economic impacts Casino gambling Employment Taxes Consumer benefits Crime Drunk driving Bankruptcy 



Thanks to Elizabeth Mandell for research assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Walker reports personal fees from Gambling Research Exchange Ontario, personal fees from Kansas Lottery Gaming Facilities Review Board, personal fees from Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, personal fees from State of Florida Legislature, outside the submitted work. Dr. Sobel has nothing to disclose.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by either of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, School of Business, College of CharlestonCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.School of Business, The CitadelCharlestonUSA

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