Exploring women’s problem gambling: A review of the literature


Problem gambling is a social issue that increasingly involves women; however, research into gambling and gambling problems amongst women has not kept pace with the feminization of gambling. The aims of this paper are to review relevant literature, discuss research findings on distinctive features of women's gambling, and consider various explanations for gender differences in gambling. While minimal gendered gambling research has been conducted over the past decade, gender differences are apparent in relation to progression to problem gambling, gambling preferences and motivations. Drawing on literature including social capital theory, gender role theory, socialization and cultural geography helps to illuminate why, for instance, for some older women, their gambling increases as their gendered caring role decreases. A better understanding of women's experiences of gambling will allow practical prevention, harm-minimization and treatment strategies to be implemented, and for women's concerns and needs to be accommodated in gambling policy.

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