The CCGR commissioned the development of the SEIG Framework to guide policy makers and researchers in measuring and reporting on the social and economic costs and benefits of gambling in Canada. The SEIG Framework reflects the interdisciplinary and complex nature of gambling and takes a holistic and integrated systems approach to measuring impact. It uses the best and most relevant analytical tools to support the development of objective profiles of gambling's impact.
The SEIG Framework was designed as an open architecture, which means that it was intended to evolve as it is used and as new information emerges. The CCGR continues its commitment to understanding SEIG by commissioning this research, which comprehensively reviewed nearly 500 existing studies on the impact of gambling to propose principles for meaningful socioeconomic impact analysis. The project's key conclusion is that assessing gambling's overall impact will always involve subjective judgment, as it is not possible to reliably combine social and economic impacts to arrive at an overall bottom line.
Among several other principles, the authors suggest that researchers interested in measuring gambling's impact should avoid applying arbitrary monetary values to non-monetary impacts, create impact profiles instead of a bottom line, examine micro and macro geographic impacts, compare impacts with changes in control communities, apply basic economic principles to their evaluation, and use longitudinal research designs when possible.
The analyses of empirical studies shows that gambling's impacts are mixed and differ based on the type of gambling. In general, the most consistent economic impacts across all forms of gambling tend to be increased government revenues, increased public services, increased regulatory costs, and either positive or negative impacts on non-gambling businesses. The most consistent social impacts tend to be increased problem gambling (with most of this increase occurring after initial introduction), increased crime (to a small extent), increased socioeconomic inequality (to a small extent) and more negative attitudes toward gambling.
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The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling (Full report) - English