The distribution of consumption model: An evaluation of its applicability to gambling behaviour

Abstract

AIMS: Assesses whether the epidemiological Distribution of Consumption model can describe population level gambling behaviors. METHOD: Using 2001 survey data of gambling behaviour in the Ontario adult population (n=5000), three aspects of the Distribution of Consumption Model were addressed in the analysis of these survey data: the single measure of gambling consumption that was most strongly associated with problem gambling as measured by the CPGI; how gambling consumption is distributed in the survey sample; and the relationship between gambling consumption and the risk of having a gambling-related problem. RESULTS: Found that the measure of gambling consumption best associated with problem gambling levels was the percentage of household income spent on gambling. Second, the distribution of gambling consumption in the Ontario sample was highly skewed and well described by the lognormal distribution. Third, the risk of experiencing one or more gambling-related problem increased in a nonlinear manner with increased gambling consumption. CONCLUSION: Concludes that the Distribution of Consumption Model is a useful population level descriptor of aggregate gambling behaviour and problem gambling in a population. The model can provide insights into population dynamics and help inform a public health approach to problem gambling. Given the similarities it is quite likely that many of the findings in the area of alcohol will also apply to gambling. Gambling researchers and practitioners are encouraged to explore the field of alcohol and alcohol-related problems for findings that may be useful in the area of gambling.

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