- Open Access
Economic and Psychosocial Impact of Problem Gambling in South Korea
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health volume 2, pages 29–38 (2011)
The study examined the harmful effects of casino gambling in Korean society from economic and psychosocial perspectives. Interviews with gambling addicts were conducted in order to gain insight into the impacts of pathological gambling. Using snowball sampling, 12 gambling addicts were recruited in Kohan, South Korea. Findings of the study suggest that gambling addicts suffer various harmful effects, including an increased susceptibility to financial and employment problems, such as debt and accumulated interest, bankruptcy, job loss, and decreased productivity. Participants in the study complained of physiological problems, including headaches, high blood pressure, arthritis, indigestion, a stomach disorder, and rapid weight loss. Common psychological problems reported included symptoms of high-level stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and suicidal ideation. For some interviewees who smoked and drank alcohol, consumption of these substances increased in response to their gambling. All participants reported disrupted relationships with their immediate family, relatives and friends. Moreover, they experienced stigma, discrimination, and feelings of alienation. With regard to criminal and legal problems, they were exposed to increased risk of litigation and violence. Clinical and political attention should be paid to the issue of gambling addiction in Korea, with a view to the prevention and treatment of gambling disorders. Management of gambling problems needs to consider economic and financial wellbeing, employment, physical and psychological health, interpersonal relationships, and the risk of criminal involvement and other legal issues.
Abbott, M. W., & McKenna, B. G. (2005). Gambling and problem gambling among recently sentenced women in New Zealand prisons. Journal of Gambling Studies, 21, 559–581.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed, text revised). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Ely, M., Anzul, M., Friedman, T., Garner, D., & Steinmetz, A. C. (1991). Doing qualitative research: circles within circles. New York: Falmer.
Ferris, J., & Wynne, H. (2001). The Canadian Problem Gambling Index: final report. Toronto, ON: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
Han, S. Y., Lee, H. P., Hur, T. K., & Jang, H. (2009). The actual condition, participation rate of gambling and prevalence of pathological gambling in South-Korea — Based on gambling type. Korean Psychological Association: Health, 14, 255–276.
Hong, J. K. (2009). Psychoanalytic approach to the addition of gambling. Journal of Lacan & Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11, 137–153.
Jung, S. Y., Son, D. S., Choi, Y. S., Shin, H. H., Kim, S. H., & Choi, Y. S. (2009). A study on the development and effectiveness of social-psychological rehabilitation program for gamblers. Mental Health & Social Work, 32, 285–320.
Ko, E. A., Ku, T. K., Kim, J. H., & Chae, H. J. (2006). Study on economic approach and solution to gambling industry. Korean Journal of Alumni in Management, 37, 1–25.
Korea Racing Authority. (2009). Investigation of usage condition of gambling in South Korea. Seoul: Korea University.
Korean National Gaming Control Commission. (2009). A white paper on gambling industry. Seoul: Korean National Gaming Control Commission.
Korean National Gaming Control Commission. (2010). Investigation of usage condition of gambling industry in South Korea. Seoul: Korean National Gaming Control Commission.
Korean Problem Gambling Counseling Center. (2010). Prevalence of gambling addiction among OECD countries. Retrieved from http://www.blog.naver.com/goodcare8275/100115833234
Lee, H. P. (2002). Psychology of gambling. Seoul: Hakjisa Publications.
Lee, J. H. (2003). Validity analysis of Korean gambling industry (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), Hongik University, Seoul, South Korea.
Lee T. W. (2009). A study of the negative impacts of excessive gambling on casino patrons. Korean Criminological Review, 77, 1251–1284.
Lesieur, H. R., & Rosenthal, R. J. (1991). Pathological gambling: A review of the literature (prepared for the American Psychiatric Association task force on DSM-IV committee on disorders of impulse control not elsewhere classified). Journal of Gambling Studies, 7, 5–39.
Leung, K. C., Wong, I. L. K., Lau, K. M., & Yeung, S. C. (2010). Stress, health, and coping resources of Chinese pathological gamblers’ spouses. Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 1, 61–74.
Park, C. H. (2008). A study on the soundness of gamble industry. Travel & Touring Study, 29, 21–48.
Park, J. H., Woo, J. M., Lee, S., & Chung, I. J. (2007). Expansion plan of social services to support psychological and emotional health. Seoul: People’s Institute of Economic & Social Studies.
Pietrzak, R. H., & Petry, N. M. (2006). Severity of gambling problems and psychosocial functioning in older adults. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry Neurology, 19, 106–113.
Van Maanen, J. (1988). Tales of the field: on writing ethnography. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Rights and permissions
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
About this article
Cite this article
Chun, J., Cho, S., Chung, IJ. et al. Economic and Psychosocial Impact of Problem Gambling in South Korea. Asian J of Gambling Issues and Public Health 2, 29–38 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03342123
- Economic and Psychosocial Impact
- Problem Gambling