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      Understanding gambling related harm: a proposed definition, conceptual framework, and taxonomy of harms

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          Abstract

          Background

          Harm from gambling is known to impact individuals, families, and communities; and these harms are not restricted to people with a gambling disorder. Currently, there is no robust and inclusive internationally agreed upon definition of gambling harm. In addition, the current landscape of gambling policy and research uses inadequate proxy measures of harm, such as problem gambling symptomology, that contribute to a limited understanding of gambling harms. These issues impede efforts to address gambling from a public health perspective.

          Methods

          Data regarding harms from gambling was gathered using four separate methodologies, a literature review, focus groups and interviews with professionals involved in the support and treatment of gambling problems, interviews with people who gamble and their affected others, and an analysis of public forum posts for people experiencing problems with gambling and their affected others. The experience of harm related to gambling was examined to generate a conceptual framework. The catalogue of harms experienced were organised as a taxonomy.

          Results

          The current paper proposes a definition and conceptual framework of gambling related harm that captures the full breadth of harms that gambling can contribute to; as well as a taxonomy of harms to facilitate the development of more appropriate measures of harm.

          Conclusions

          Our aim is to create a dialogue that will lead to a more coherent interpretation of gambling harm across treatment providers, policy makers and researchers.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Virtual harm reduction efforts for Internet gambling: effects of deposit limits on actual Internet sports gambling behavior

          Background In an attempt to reduce harm related to gambling problems, an Internet sports betting service provider, bwin Interactive Entertainment, AG ( bwin ), imposes limits on the amount of money that users can deposit into their online gambling accounts. We examined the effects of these limits on gambling behavior. Methods We compared (1) gambling behavior of those who exceeded deposit limits with those who did not, and (2) gambling behavior before and after exceeding deposit limits. We analyzed 2 years of the actual sports gambling behavior records of 47000 subscribers to bwin . Results Only 160 (0.3%) exceeded deposit limits at least once. Gamblers who exceeded deposit limits evidenced higher average number of bets per active betting day and higher average size of bets than gamblers who did not exceed deposit limits. Comparing the gambling behavior before and after exceeding deposit limits revealed slightly more unfavorable gambling behavior after exceeding deposit limits. Conclusion Our findings indicate that Internet gamblers who exceed deposit limits constitute a group of bettors willing to take high risks; yet, surprisingly, they appear to do this rather successfully because their percentage of losses is lower than others in the sample. However, some of these gamblers exhibit some poor outcomes. Deposit limits might be necessary harm reduction measures to prevent the loss of extremely large amounts of money and cases of bankruptcy. We discuss how these limits might be modified based on our findings.
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            The association between comorbidity and outcome in pathological gambling: a prospective follow-up of recent quitters.

            A naturalistic sample of pathological gamblers (N = 101) who recently quit gambling was followed prospectively for a year (follow-up rate 80%). Lifetime mood disorders were identified in 61% of participants and 73% and 48% had lifetime alcohol use and drug use disorders, respectively. Current prevalence rates, however, were much lower. Current mood disorders were found for 20% and 7% had a current alcohol disorder and 7% a current drug use disorder. Age of onset for substance use disorders was earlier than gambling disorders but mood disorders were equally likely to predate or follow gambling disorders. Lifetime mood disorder was associated with a longer time to achieve 3 months of stable abstinence. Participants who were currently in treatment or attending Gamblers Anonymous and the small number of participants with current alcohol disorders were also more likely to achieve abstinence earlier. The results underscore the importance of increasing our understanding of the role of comorbid disorders in the recovery process from gambling problems.
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              Defining a threshold of harm from gambling for population health surveillance research

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                e.langham@cqu.edu.au
                h.thorne@cqu.edu.au
                m.browne@cqu.edu.au
                p.donaldson@cqu.edu.au
                j.rose@cqu.edu.au
                m.rockloff@cqu.edu.au
                Journal
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                1471-2458
                27 January 2016
                27 January 2016
                2015
                : 16
                Affiliations
                [ ]School of Human, Health and Social Sciences, CQ University, PO Box 7815, Cairns, QLD 4870 Australia
                [ ]School of Human, Health and Social Sciences, CQ University, 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
                [ ]School of Human, Health and Social Sciences, CQ University, Locked Bag 333, Bundaberg, QLD 4670 Australia
                Article
                2747
                10.1186/s12889-016-2747-0
                4728872
                © Langham et al. 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
                Award ID: VRGF1-13
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2016

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