Association of problem gambling with type of gambling among Italian general population


The origin of gambling disorders is uncertain; however, research has shown a tendency to focus on specific types of games as a potential important risk factor. The principal aim of this study is to examine the relationships between types of gambling practices and gambling disorder. The data were extracted from IPSAD-Italia® 2010-2011 (Italian Population Survey on Alcohol and other Drugs), a survey among the Italian general population which collects socio-cultural information, information about the use of drugs, legal substances and gambling habits. In order to identify the "problem gambler" we used the Problem Gambling Severity Index. Three groups are considered in this analysis: no-risk gamblers, low-risk gamblers, moderate-risk/problem gamblers. Type of gambling practice was considered among two types of gambler: one-game players and multi-games players. 1.9 % of multi-game players were considered problem gamblers, only 0.6 % of one-game players were problem gamblers (p < 0.001). The percentage of players who were low and moderate-risk gamblers was approximately double among multi-game players, with 14.4 % low-risk and 5.8 % moderate-risk; compared with 7.7 % low-risk and 2.5 % moderate risk among one-game players. Results of ordinal logistic regression analysis confirmed that higher level of gambling severity was associated with multi-game players (OR = 2.23, p < 0.0001). Video-poker/slot-machines show the highest association with gambling severity among both one-game players and multi-game players, with scores of OR equal to 4.3 and 4.5 respectively. These findings suggest a popular perception of risk associated with this type of gambling for the development of gambling problems.

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