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The balance of money collected from the activity is a transfer from the poor to the rich. Gambling as a solution to social revenue needs faces the risk of turning poverty into misery, even for many who do not themselves gamble at all.

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General population surveys show that gambling is prevalent in many high-income countries. Gambling problems tend to be concentrated, though not exclusively, in the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including ethnic minorities, the homeless, the unemployed, the mentally ill, alcohol and drug users, and those who have lower incomes and socioeconomic status. How did we let gambling become such a huge problem?

Although many people participate in lotteries and go to casinos , the largest share of total money spent comes from a very small minority of heavy gamblers. Gambling generates a surplus of money for the industry and the governments that regulate it.

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Private companies, good cause beneficiaries, and states are interested in this surplus, which gives rise to two vicious cycles. In the first one, more gambling leads to more public revenue, but also incurs an even higher cost as gambling-related harm increases. This may lead public, private, and civil society organizations to demand more funding for treatment and support services for problem gamblers, instead of setting limits to gambling supply.

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The second vicious cycle refers to dependencies created by vested interests. These dependencies emerge as state governments and civil society organizations and other good cause beneficiaries use this surplus of money to provide public services. The problem is that problem gamblers and their families are often forgotten, and the economic costs of gambling are not offset by the revenues collected.

Why have public policy changes to reduce gambling been ineffective? Any policy effort to reduce the total money volume of gambling activity has or will likely meet resistance due to the large revenue streams it provides.


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Public policy on gambling faces two problems. First, gambling produces public revenue which, simultaneously, generates costs due to gambling-related problems.

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Secondly, vested interests in gambling revenue can limit harm prevention efforts in the public interest. This perspective leads us to include in the analysis not only the game and the gambler but also the political economy of gambling. At both the individual and societal levels, scientific research on gambling and gambling policy can provide a valuable tool for the policymaker.

But news that the state plans to disable access to world gambling sites has raised complaints about censorship creeping into the country. He said it was one thing to make gambling or betting illegal and another to disable access to certain sites for your own citizens in order to favour other sites. Why disable access to a page that is legal elsewhere?

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The government has not predicted how much money it plans to earn from the monopolization of gambling. He said it was one thing to make gambling or betting illegal and another to disable access to certain sites for your own citizens in order to favour other sites. Why disable access to a page that is legal elsewhere? The government has not predicted how much money it plans to earn from the monopolization of gambling. Macedonia says plans to disable access to foreign betting sites are in the public interest - but critics say it smacks of Chinese-style internet censorship.