Editorials

The future of gambling in the United Kingdom

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7249.1556 (Published 10 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1556

Increasing access creates more problem gamblers

  1. Rachel A Volberg, president (rvolberg@geminiresearch.com)
  1. Gemini Research, P O Box 628, Northampton, MA 01061-0628, USA

    For most people gambling is an enjoyable, if occasional, experience. For a minority, however, gambling leads to debilitating problems that harm the people close to them and the wider community. Problem gambling includes a range of behaviours that compromise, disrupt, or damage an individual's personal, family, or vocational pursuits, and, in its most severe forms, it has been recognised as a psychiatric disorder.1 A recent meta-analysis found that between 1% and 2% of adults aged 18 and over in the United States and Canada are pathological gamblers and an additional 2% to 4% of adults were classed as problem gamblers.2 Prevalence rates in Australia and New Zealand are similar.3 4 Problem gamblers and pathological gamblers are more likely than others in the general population to have been divorced, had physical and psychological problems, lost a job, been on welfare, been declared bankrupt, and been imprisoned.5

    The availability …

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