Despite growing evidence of a more sophisticated and complex commercial casino industry, in the popular mind gambling still equates primarily with visiting a casino to spend money playing games. This view is somewhat simplistic in that it fails to account for the significant role casinos play in a national economy, and how the money they generate ripples through the community via indirect (from spending by casino visitors) and induced (from employee spending) economic impacts. Indirect and induced economic impacts can be calculated using input-output models that identify and quantify the direct, indirect, and induced economic effects of each economic activity.
These models describe the multiplier effect of a specific type of economic activity on other types of economic activities, including spending, income, and employment. The model used for calculating these economic impacts identifies the number of jobs created by each dollar spent at a casino, and how that money is spread throughout the economy in terms of wages, purchasing power, and total spending. It is important to understand these impacts because they provide a valuable measure of the impact that casino operations have on the American economy and help compare and contrast the economic contribution of casinos to other businesses and industries. In addition to gambling, many casinos offer a wide variety of other entertainment options. For example, some feature live music, and others host stage shows, comedians, and other entertainers. These entertainment options often help to draw in people who might not otherwise come to the casino, and they can have a positive influence on the local economy by helping to increase tourism.
Some studies have examined whether different gambling formats are more or less risky than other formats, in order to inform gambling regulation and problem gambling prevention and treatment efforts. For example, some studies have shown that individuals who gamble on video lottery terminals are more likely to develop a gambling disorder than those who do not. These findings have important implications for preventing and treating problematic gambling, especially as governments legalize new forms of gambling. Many casinos also provide a range of other services that help individuals address issues related to their problem gambling behaviors. For example, they may offer family therapy and marriage counseling, career, and credit counseling. These services can be very helpful in breaking the cycle of gambling addiction and repairing damaged relationships, finances, and careers.
In addition, they can help people to explore their problem gambling behavior and how it developed or became compulsive, as well as ways to break the cycle and repair their lives. In many cases, individuals who have a problem with gambling are motivated to change their behavior by negative consequences and an evaluation of the negative impact on themselves and those around them. This process is known as self-disconcertment, and it produces a basic motivation to restore psychosocial and financial equilibrium. During this process, participants often project negative feelings about their gambling behaviors onto other people, and see those other people as being more like themselves than they are. This is a common defense mechanism that can be difficult to overcome in treatment.