A few decades earlier, gambling was still a new concept to many, while some also considered it against the law. But the scenario has changed a lot in the present times. Now, gambling is one of the top industries in several nations including Spain, Hong Kong, Finland, America and Australia etc. Now that more people are choosing online gambling, the demand and popularity for all kinds of online gambling games is rising to great heights. As per casino industry news, it has been disclosed that nearly 350,000 small business jobs are supported by the gambling industry. It is also revealed that the industry spurs close to $52 billion in small business revenues.
Besides, the regular developments in this field have lead to several significant contributions in the tourism industry. Particularly, in Cambodia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and a few other regions, the number of casinos are rapidly growing. As a result, these places are gradually turning into major casino hubs and without doubt, one of the highly profitable sectors of their economy. Macau is another example where gambling is quite high. Here, the flourishing gambling industry has turned into one of the main sources of economic funds. On the contrary, the rise of gambling industry has both positive and negative impacts on socio-cultural, economic as well as environmental factors. Both these impacts must be taken into account as they affect the residents of these regions at least to some extent.
In general terms, the positive effects refer to things like development of social welfare, boost in earned incomes, and consummation of public facilities. The negative results include examples like increase of crime rates, expansion of pollutants, and rising prices of goods. However, most of the studies pertaining to the gambling effects are based in western nations. Hence, it is important to explore different regions and look at the various effects that people with different ethnicity, culture and background experience because of gambling. Also, it is necessary for different departments of the government, researchers and casino owners to clearly disclose the advantages and disadvantages in the gambling industry. This gives a possibility to reduce the possible negative effects besides improves the opportunities for those who approach.
Talking about Macau, it is the major gambling hub in most of the Asia, where such games were legalized back in 1847. In 2002, the gaming market flourished further when the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China brought in new investors and gave way for different business patterns. As a result, new developments took place in the industry with several fresh elements and purposes. Meanwhile, Singapore can be ranked as one of the up-and-coming market in this industry. Gambling in Singapore started properly in 2010, when its first casino house was opened. Since then, the crowd to casino establishments have always remained high. These attracted not just locals but tourists as well. Today, gambling can be considered as one of the reasons that boosted tourism revenue in this region to a great extent.
Singapore and Macau are the two regions where gambling is legalized. Both these places have different nature and characters in the gambling market. Yet, the points observed in both these places are a bit similar. Some of these include:
- Response and opinions of people about the effects of gambling on economic, environmental and social factors.
- Different viewpoints of the residents of these two regions pertaining to the potential association between the impact of gambling operations as well as behaviours.
- Varying opinions of people with different backgrounds about the effects of casinos and gambling developments.
Sources state that earlier, various positive outcomes were expected out of casino businesses to the environment like developing transportation means, better medical standards, safeguarding natural environment, ecological resources along with cultural heritage and historical monuments. In 1998, it was also revealed that the rise of casinos in New Jersey and Atlantic City gave positive outcome like a booming tourism sector, better infrastructure, and facilities. However, research made in the Cheju Island of South Korea states that people became more influenced to the casinos than to the environment. The response was similar in other regions too like Colorado, and South Dakota. As per the researches, the key aspects that affected the environment include erosion of soil, destruction of public infrastructure, traffic jams, poor air quality, increased trash, and weakening of scenic beauty etc. Meanwhile, the residents of Macau had a different attitude towards casinos. However, this change is said to happen only after experiencing the negative impacts on the environment.
The key benefit of casino establishments is they bring in huge revenues for governments. It further makes way for local economic development by way of commercial activities. According to some researches, these even generate employment opportunities and offer substantial economic benefits. More benefits related to casinos include increased opportunities to entertainment, recreational and leisure activities but only in the regions where casinos are located. Contrary to this, it was reported that in 2004, people spent more time in gambling than on other recreational activities. This indicates that only certain businesses in specific regions were benefited economically. In Illinois too, there was no major development in job opportunities. On the whole, researchers indicated that casino businesses were neither much successful in rural and developing areas nor they have any positive effect on other recreation options.
Based on different perspectives, several studies were conducted on the social costs of gambling. A few indexes pertaining to social costs in casinos were highlighted that have connection to the social effects. These factors include regulatory expenses, promotion and research, treatment costs and prevention costs etc. Some studies also state that there are both positive and negative effects of casinos on local residents and communities. Positive effects like change in the life quality along with social and economic well being were observed. On the contrary, some studies highlighted negative impacts like increased criminal activities, domestic violence, bankruptcy, alcohol abuse and rise of pathological gamblers to name a few.