Strategic versus nonstrategic gambling: Results from a community survey

Abstract

Objectives: The aims of the current study were to establish the prevalence and correlates of strategic and nonstrategic gambling, using data from an epidemiological survey conducted in 2010 in Singapore.

Methods: Data were used from a nationwide cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of the resident (citizens and permanent residents) population of Singaporean adults aged 18 years and older (N=6616). All respondents were administered the South Oaks Gambling Screen to determine the gambling activities and screen for pathological gambling. The diagnosis of mental disorders was established using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, and relevant sociodemographic data were collected using a structured questionnaire. In the analysis, 1835 adults who had gambled at least once in their lives were included.

Results: The prevalence of strategic gamblers only, both strategic and nonstrategic gamblers, and nonstrategic gamblers was 12.9%, 30%, and 57.1%, respectively. As compared with nonstrategic gamblers, strategic gamblers were more likely to be males, and economically inactive (vs employed). They were less likely to be of Indian ethnicity and were currently married and divorced/separated. The prevalence of pathological gambling was significantly higher among strategic gamblers only, and both strategic and nonstrategic gamblers than nonstrategic gamblers (7.1% and 7.3% vs 2.1%; Pā€Š=ā€Š0.001).

Conclusions: This study on gambling preferences in a multiethnic community sample has reiterated some of the findings from previous studies, whereas others are unique to this population.

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