Are online pathological gamblers different from non-online pathological gamblers on demographics, gambling problem severity, psychopathology and personality characteristics?

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare online pathological gamblers {(OPG)} to non-online pathological gamblers {(non-OPG)} in terms of gambling behaviour, socio-demographic features, psychopathology and personality characteristics. A large sample of 1015 pathological gambling {(PG)} patients consecutively admitted to our Pathological Gambling Unit participated in the study. There were very few differences between {OPGs} and {non-OPGs}, limited to {OPGs} exhibiting slightly higher educational levels, higher socio-economic status and larger amounts of money spent on gambling and gambling debts. There were no differences in clinical, psychopathological and personality characteristics. Although some research has been conducted in the general population, the current paper is one of the few attempts to analyse this topic in clinical samples who seek treatment for their gambling problem. The lack of differences between {OPGs} and {non-OPGs} found in our study may encourage further studies to analyse whether similar therapy responses might be obtained in both groups.

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