First do no harm: What could be done by casinos to limit pathological gambling

Abstract

Casinos could help inhibit the development of pathological gambling by limiting the contributions they make to the development of pathology among gamblers. Reasonable strategies for limiting pathology might include limiting the size of jackpots, decreasing the length of play, limiting access, decreasing the rate of play, decreasing the arousal of patrons, decreasing the variability of games, and decreasing the inducements to play. These strategies could be employed in the domains of accessibility, environment, game structure, promotion/marketing, education and treatment. The author argues that the implementation of these strategies would not only inhibit the development of pathological gambling, but might also benefit the casinos and society. The suggested changes in casinos offers a focal point for further research and further dialogues between clinicians and casino operators.

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