Researching the link between gambling and crime

Abstract

This paper has sought to tease out the merits of relying upon court files as the basis for researching the relationship between gambling and crime. The sampling frame adopted in my study was informed by existing research highlighting what types of crimes problem gamblers are most likely to commit. In turn, reliance upon court files fostered the possibility of generalisations about the extent of gambling related crime in New South Wales. The sampling frame of persons found guilty of criminal offences meant that this methodological approach incorporated persons in the study who would be excluded from studies that relied upon persons seeking treatment for problem gambling. These differences impacted upon research outcomes. For example, subjects in my study appear to have stolen much larger amounts of money over longer periods of time than those in previous studies. Rather than undermining the quality of existing studies or my own study, these differences highlight the need for further research, using these different methodological techniques, to ensure depth and consistency in the information available on the relationship between gambling and crime.

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