Thursday November 6,2014 : NO RISE IN U.S. PROBLEM GAMBLING
New study by University of Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions proves once again what most online gambling operators well.
Uninformed and unproved claims that online gambling has a greater propensity to create problem gamblers have again been debunked by scientific research, this time in a study by the University of Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions.
Several medical journals reported on the study this week, quoting the research conclusions reached by John W. Welte, PhD, the senior research scientist at RIA who led the project.
"We compared results from two nationwide telephone surveys, conducted a decade apart," Welte explained.
"We found no significant increase in the rates of problem gambling in the U.S., despite a nationwide increase in gambling opportunities."
The first telephone survey interviewed 2,613 people in 1999-2000, and the second survey interviewed 2,963 people in 2011-13.
Individuals were asked about their participation in a broad range of gambling activities, including raffles, office pools, pulltabs, bingo, cards, pool, gambling machines, casinos, lottery, Internet gambling, and sports, horse or dog track betting.
Despite a marked increase in gambling opportunities, rates of problem gambling remained stable.
Using several different criteria, the researchers found no statistically significant change in problem gambling or its more severe form, pathological gambling.
Rates of problem gambling remained in the 3.5 to 5.5 percent range, depending on the measure used, and rates of pathological gambling were in the 1.0 to 2.4 percent range.
The study found that men more than twice as likely as women to be problem gamblers. In fact, the survey showed the prevalence of problem gambling among women actually decreased, from 2.9 to 2.5 percent.
Researchers also found that overall participation in gambling activities actually decreased. The percentage of respondents who gambled in the past year dropped to 76.9 percent in 2011-13, down from 82.2 percent in 1999-2000.
Among respondents who gambled at least once in the past year, there was a significant reduction in the average number of days on which they gambled – 59.9 days per year in 1999-2000 to 53.7 days in 2011-13.
"Our results show it is clear that U.S. residents are gambling less often," Welte says.