What proportion of gaming revenue is derived from problem gamblers?

Abstract

The source of gaming revenue has important philosophical, sociological and government policy implications. Previous calculations, finding between 15% and 33% of revenues derived from problem gamblers, are inconsistent between studies and inconsistent with actual gaming revenues. Two studies obtained self self-reported expenditures using prospective 4 week diaries of gambling expenditures and clear, non non-biasing questions explaining what is meant by 'net expenditure.' One, the Alberta study, estimated 39% of Alberta gaming revenue derived from moderate and severe problem gamblers. The Ontario study estimated 35% of Ontario gaming revenue derived from moderate and severe problem gamblers. Furthermore, up to 60% of revenue from gaming machines may derive from problem gamblers. The money spent on prevention/treatment/research is very small compared to the amount contributed by problem gamblers. Education/Awareness efforts are only one pillar of an effective harm minimization approach, and are never successful on their own. What is required are concomitant policy initiatives, many of which are easily implemented.

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