Winners: Why do some develop gambling problems while others do not?

Abstract

Examines the experiences of gamblers who either have problems or do not have problems for the purpose of determining what aspect of those experiences are most strongly associated with the development of problem gambling. Utilises a combination of qualitative and quantitative research techniques in order to explore the nature of wins and the role wins play in the development of problem gambling. Finds that problem gamblers were significantly more likely than non-problem gamblers to have experienced a win the first time they gambled and to report that losses made them want to gamble more. Identitied five types of risk factors: a big win, boredom susceptibility, a poor understanding of random events, use of escape as a coping mechanism, and a stressful life without support around the time the persons started gambling. Concludes that problem gambling is a complex phenomenon. Simple approaches, such as education on randomness is not likely to stop problem gamblers gambling.

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