Examining problematic gambling and mental health in a LGBTI community: A preliminary study

Abstract

This preliminary study explored gambling in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) community, recognising this as an under researched area. Several factors were considered alongside gambling, namely mental health, substance use, alcohol use and self-control. Participants were recruited to take part in an online survey, with a final sample of 69 obtained. Findings revealed that gambling activities such as pub slot machines/games (58%) were the most common form of gambling, followed by scratch cards (43.5%). The most common motive for engaging in gambling was for ‘fun’, followed by ‘because you like the feeling’. Twenty percent of participants appeared to meet the criteria for gambling disorder, as defined by the DSM–V. Mental health variables, namely depression and anxiety, did not distinguish between problematic and non-problematic gambling whereas alcohol, drug use and self-control did; higher levels of alcohol and higher levels of drug use were present in the problematic gambling group which appeared to confirm gambling as a difficulty best placed within the addiction spectrum. Self-control was also lower in the problematic gambling group and represented a significant predictor of problematic gambling.

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