The social costs and benefits of gambling: An introduction to the economic issues


This paper surveys the range of economic issues that need to be addressed in attempting to evaluate the social costs and benefits of gambling. It considers, inter alia, the nature of private and social costs and benefits and their policy significance, the important distinction between real and pecuniary costs, the incidence of gambling costs and benefits and the sources of gambling costs and benefits. Similarities and differences between the analysis of gambling and alcohol are considered. The paper concludes with a consideration of why various estimates of the social costs of gambling have produced such divergent results.

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