Types of Legal Gambling and the rates of Gambling Behaviors
The June 2016 issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies
carried an article about the relationship between availability of legal gambling and gambling problems. Five authors contributed to the article and the results were pretty much what you would expect. The basic issue is whether more types of legal gambling are associated with higher rates of problem gambling. The answer is yes.
Gambling exposure was defined as the sum of the number of years that all types were legal. This was significant because the number of problem gamblers increased the longer a given set of gambling types were in place. Three aspects of problem gambling increased as the available types and length of time they were available: problem gambling itself, frequent gambling and past year gambling. The study was based on data from telephone surveys conducted during 1999-2000, and 2011-2013 that used the same questions. For states with increased types and length of operation, the rates of problem gamblers increased. For the very few states that had fewer types of gambling in the second survey, the rate of frequent gamblers went down. There were a few irregularities in the data.
The closer and more ubiquitous the gambling the worse for families.
- W. Wells, et.al . “The Relationship Between the Number of Types of Legal Gambling and the Rates of Gambling Behaviors and Problems Across the U.S.States,” Journal of Gambling Studies, 2016 Jun, 32(2):379-90.