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      Problem gambling worldwide: An update and systematic review of empirical research (2000–2015)

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          Abstract

          Background and aims

          Problem gambling has been identified as an emergent public health issue, and there is a need to identify gambling trends and to regularly update worldwide gambling prevalence rates. This paper aims to review recent research on adult gambling and problem gambling (since 2000) and then, in the context of a growing liberalization of the gambling market in the European Union, intends to provide a more detailed analysis of adult gambling behavior across European countries.

          Methods

          A systematic literature search was carried out using academic databases, Internet, and governmental websites.

          Results

          Following this search and utilizing exclusion criteria, 69 studies on adult gambling prevalence were identified. These studies demonstrated that there are wide variations in past-year problem gambling rates across different countries in the world (0.12–5.8%) and in Europe (0.12–3.4%). However, it is difficult to directly compare studies due to different methodological procedures, instruments, cut-offs, and time frames. Despite the variability among instruments, some consistent results with regard to demographics were found.

          Discussion and conclusion

          The findings highlight the need for continuous monitoring of problem gambling prevalence rates in order to examine the influence of cultural context on gambling patterns, assess the effectiveness of policies on gambling-related harms, and establish priorities for future research.

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          Most cited references 92

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          Prevalence of Adolescent Problem Gambling: A Systematic Review of Recent Research

          Previous research has shown that gambling is a popular activity among adolescents. Following a rapid expansion of legalized gambling opportunities and the emergence of new forms of gambling, many researchers have carried out studies on adolescent gambling and problem gambling. The present paper reviews studies that have been conducted worldwide since 2000, and then presents a more detailed picture of adolescent gambling research in Europe, by providing a country-by country analysis. After an extensive search on academic databases and following an exclusion process, 44 studies were identified. The findings showed that 0.2–12.3 % of youth meet criteria for problem gambling, notwithstanding differences among assessment instruments, cut-offs, and timeframes. However, despite this variability, several demographic characteristics were associated with adolescent gambling involvement and problem gambling. It is concluded that a small but significant minority of adolescents have gambling-related problems. Such findings will hopefully encourage more research into youth gambling to further understand the determinants of this phenomenon.
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            Prevalence and risks of pathological gambling in Sweden.

            This paper presents results from the first national survey of problem gambling completed in Sweden. The Swedish survey is unique in its quality and representativeness, due to the use of multiple modes of data collection, recruitment of respondents from national registers rather than from households, and high response rate. In spite of high rates of gambling participation in Sweden, the combined prevalence of problem and pathological gambling in Sweden is relatively low (3.9% lifetime and 2.0% current). Multivariate analysis shows that being male, under the age of 25 and born abroad are significant risk factors for lifetime gambling problems in Sweden. Additional risk factors are being single, living in big cities, and receiving social welfare payments. The groups most at risk for gambling problems in Sweden are people disadvantaged and marginalized by international economic changes as well as the dismantling of the Swedish welfare system.
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              The prevalence and determinants of problem gambling in Australia: assessing the impact of interactive gambling and new technologies.

              New technology is changing the nature of gambling with interactive modes of gambling becoming putatively associated with higher rates of problem gambling. This paper presents the first nationally representative data on the prevalence and correlates of problem gambling among Australian adults since 1999 and focuses on the impact of interactive gambling. A telephone survey of 15,006 adults was conducted. Of these, 2,010 gamblers (all interactive gamblers and a randomly selected subsample of those reporting land-based gambling in the past 12 months) also completed more detailed measures of problem gambling, substance use, psychological distress, and help-seeking. Problem gambling rates among interactive gamblers were 3 times higher than for noninteractive gamblers. However, problem and moderate risk gamblers were most likely to attribute problems to electronic gaming machines and land-based gambling, suggesting that although interactive forms of gambling are associated with substantial problems, interactive gamblers experience significant harms from land-based gambling. The findings demonstrate that problem gambling remains a significant public health issue that is changing in response to new technologies, and it is important to develop strategies that minimize harms among interactive gamblers.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                26 October 2016
                : 5
                : 4
                : 592-613
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ]International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University , Nottingham, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Filipa Calado; International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU, United Kingdom; Phone: +44 115 941 8418; E-mail: filipa.calado2013@ 123456my.ntu.ac.uk
                Article
                10.1556/2006.5.2016.073
                5370365
                27784180
                © 2016 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 98, Pages: 22
                Funding
                Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.
                Categories
                Review Article

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