We are always looking for the most interesting activities to occupy our free time. For some, those activities involve plenty of online shopping. For others, nothing beats thriller movie nights. And then there are those who live for a good game of poker, which is an activity that has become widely popular and available since the legalization of gambling in Ontario. Since there’s been enough time to collect data, we are now able to examine the social impacts of gambling in Ontario and make some evidence-based conclusions regarding the benefits and drawbacks that came out of the process.
The positive social impacts of gambling in Ontario
A great impact on our leisure time
Let’s face it – having so many live dealer casinos in Ontario to choose from makes our lives better and easier. And this benefit is so evident that there aren’t many research studies done on the topic. The entertainment value of gambling is great, as it allows people to keep themselves occupied for hours at a time, and they don’t even have to leave the comfort of their homes to do so. Since there are so many people dabbling with gambling, the incredibly positive impact on the economy has also been undeniable. We are talking about billions and billions of dollars – you heard that correctly.
New employment opportunities
It’s only logical that something that brings in so much money in revenue is bound to be good for the economy. In this case, the wide availability and potential of gambling have translated into a lower unemployment rate. And when talking about establishments that have had a positive impact on the employment rate, we are talking about both online and land-based casinos.
The former has opened up many jobs, as all those casino websites that you see need to be maintained. There are also live chat agents present, and they are in charge of making sure that the customers are always satisfied. When it comes to land-based casinos, they require plenty of dealers, bartenders, and staff that will be on hand for all casino visitors. Land-based casinos employ a considerable number of people, so every new land-based establishment that’s opened up in Ontario is good news.
Let us start by saying that the impact of gambling on Ontario’s crime rates can be both positive and negative – we simply choose to look at it from a positive standpoint. Up until recently, gambling was an illegal activity, and most people had to break the law in order to be able to play. Luckily, breaking the law in the name of gambling has become a thing of the past, as almost every person that’s of legal age can access casino games.
Then again, we have to mention the negative impact that gambling has on Ontario’s crime rates, as that’s only fair and gives you the most accurate representation of the situation. Generally speaking, crime rates increase with increased gambling availability, as some people will develop a gambling addiction. They will do anything to find a way to fund their so-called hobby, which usually results in a broad range of crimes. Then again, keep in mind that not everyone will become addicted to gambling, as most people will adhere to responsible gambling.
The negative social impacts of gambling in Ontario
We had to start with this one, as it perfectly builds upon what we have just mentioned. Gambling is an activity that can cause addiction very easily. Some groups of people are particularly prone to developing this problem, such as those with a history of addiction and individuals with mental health problems. Unfortunately, those gamblers who do develop an addiction will face a plethora of problems, such as strained relationships, divorce, and even suicide.
Luckily, it’s possible to avoid becoming addicted by having the right mindset and adhering to responsible gambling principles. This includes determining how much time and money you can spend on gambling and then sticking to your decision. If you think that you won’t be able to show the necessary level of discipline, it would be best to resort to different activities, such as laser tag and go-karting. They won’t have you spending more money than you can afford.
There’s a lot of stigma surrounding gambling as an activity. Some people see nothing wrong with it and are happy to indulge in casino games whenever they get a chance. However, there are just as many people (if not more) who view all gambling activity as something negative and shameful. At the moment, the general community has negative sentiments regarding gambling, which is why many gamblers encounter scrutiny and judgment.
That being said, we must mention that the attitude of the community toward gambling is slowly changing. Nowadays, most people know someone who is an avid gambler. And the thing about most of those people is that they are average people with normal jobs and great personal traits. Once that becomes the official image of an average gambler in the minds of most people, there’s every chance that casino games will become a socially-acceptable phenomenon.
The grey area
We’ve mentioned the most important positive and negative impacts of gambling in Ontario, but what we’ve failed to mention is the so-called grey area that is related to the quality of life. For some people, the availability of gambling has had a positive influence on their quality of life. It has provided them with great entertainment options that are always accessible. But then there are those people who have given gambling a go and ended up in bankruptcy, so it’s safe to say that their quality of life plummeted. At the end of the day, there’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to gambling. Everyone is free to decide whether they want to give gambling a go and which mindset to use. As long as you go into it with caution, there’s a good chance that you will experience only the positive social and economic impacts of gambling.