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29.04.2019 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 4/2019

Journal of Gambling Studies 4/2019

A Quantification of the Net Consumer Surplus from Gambling Participation

Journal of Gambling Studies > Ausgabe 4/2019
Matthew J. Rockloff, Matthew Browne, Alex Myles Thomas Russell, Stephanie S. Merkouris, Nicki A. Dowling
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Gambling exposes people to risk for harm, but also has recreational benefits. The present study aimed to measure gambling harm and gambling benefits on similar scales using two novel methods adapted from the Burden of Disease approach (McCormack et al. in Psychol Med 18(4):1007–1019, 1988; Torrance et al. in Health Serv Res 7(2):118–133, 1972) to find whether gambling either adds or subtracts from quality of life. A Tasmanian population-representative survey of 5000 adults (2534 female) from random digit dialling (RDD) of landline telephones in Tasmania (50%), as well as pre-screened Tasmanian RDD mobiles (17%) and listed mobile numbers (33%), measured gambling benefits and harms amongst gamblers (59.2%) and a non-exclusive set of people who were “affected” by someone else’s gambling (4.5%). The majority of gamblers indicated no change to their quality of life from gambling (82.5% or 72.6% based on direct elicitation or time trade off methods, respectively). Nevertheless, a weighted average of all the positive and negative influences on quality of life, inclusive of gamblers and affected others, revealed that the quality of life change from gambling is either a very modest + 0.05% or a more concerning − 1.9% per capita. Gambling generates only small or negative net consumer surpluses for Tasmanians.

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