Demographic and behavioural differences between gamblers with and without Gambling Disorder
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National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1305
Background and Objective: The rapid rise of internet related technologies has made gambling accessible to a wider audience. The risk for Gambling Disorder (GD), i.e. excessive, problematic or uncontrolled gambling behaviour, has been established as a key concern by non-substance addiction experts. In order to better understand the phenomenon, our study provided a detailed description of the differences between gamblers who meet criteria for GD and those who don’t (hereinafter gamblers with and without GD). Methods: As part of the National Survey on the Use of Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs, conducted in 2018 in Slovenia, nationally representative data on 1,686 Slovenian gamblers in the age range between 15 and 64 years was obtained. Gamblers were categorised into a GD and non-GD group based on their responses to the Berlin Inventory of Gambling Behavior – Screening, which assesses the presence of the 9 gambling disorder criteria, according to DSM-V. Additionally, data on various health-related behaviours was collected to investigate the intergroup differences. Results: Group comparisons between gamblers with GD (4.3% of gamblers) and gamblers without GD (95.7%) revealed many notable differences. Gamblers with GD were significantly more likely to be males, students, gambling online, watching pornography, playing videogames, using drugs in the past year and less likely to be living with a partner than gamblers without GD. Correlation analysis further revealed that lower age and excessive alcohol use are significantly related to GD symptoms, while education and monthly income are not. Conclusions: The findings of the present study highlight key demographic groups and factors associated with increased risk for GD and outline those with little to no effect on GD. Data also shows that certain behaviours (e.g., substance use, gambling online, watching pornography, playing videogames) were much more likely in the GD group, and can be considered risk behaviours.
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