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      Observable indicators and behaviors for the identification of problem gamblers in venue environments


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          Background and aims

          In many jurisdictions, where gambling services are provided, regulatory codes require gambling operators to apply a duty of care toward patrons. A common feature of these provisions is some expectation that venue staff identify and assist patrons who might be experiencing problems with their gambling. The effectiveness of such measures is, however, predicated on the assumption that there are reliable and observable indicators that might be used to allow problem gamblers to be distinguished from other gamblers.


          In this study, we consolidate the findings from two large Australian studies ( n = 505 and n = 680) of regular gamblers that were designed to identify reliable and useful indicators for identifying problem gambling in venues.


          It was found that problem gamblers are much more likely to report potentially visible emotional reactions, unusual social behaviors, and very intense or frenetic gambling behavior.

          Discussion and conclusions

          This study shows that there are a range of indicators that could potentially be used to identify people experiencing problems in venues, but that decisions are most likely to be accurate if based on an accumulation of a diverse range of indicators.

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          Most cited references23

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          Gambling and the Health of the Public: Adopting a Public Health Perspective.

          During the last decade there has been an unprecedented expansion of legalized gambling throughout North America. Three primary forces appear to be motivating this growth: (1) the desire of governments to identify new sources of revenue without invoking new or higher taxes; (2) tourism entrepreneurs developing new destinations for entertainment and leisure; and (3) the rise of new technologies and forms of gambling (e.g., video lottery terminals, powerball mega-lotteries, and computer offshore gambling). Associated with this phenomenon, there has been an increase in the prevalence of problem and pathological gambling among the general adult population, as well as a sustained high level of gambling-related problems among youth. To date there has been little dialogue within the public health sector in particular, or among health care practitioners in general, about the potential health impact of gambling or gambling-related problems. This article encourages the adoption of a public health perspective towards gambling. More specifically, this discussion has four primary objectives:1. Create awareness among health professionals about gambling, its rapid expansion and its relationship with the health care system;2. Place gambling within a public health framework by examining it from several perspectives, including population health, human ecology and addictive behaviors;3. Outline the major public health issues about how gambling can affect individuals, families and communities;4. Propose an agenda for strengthening policy, prevention and treatment practices through greater public health involvement, using the framework of The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion as a guide.By understanding gambling and its potential impacts on the public's health, policy makers and health practitioners can minimize gambling's negative impacts and appreciate its potential benefits.
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            How do gamblers end gambling: longitudinal analysis of Internet gambling behaviors prior to account closure due to gambling related problems.

            To examine behavioral patterns of actual Internet gamblers who experienced gambling-related problems and voluntarily closed their accounts.
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              Player account-based gambling: potentials for behaviour-based research methodologies


                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                28 September 2016
                September 2016
                : 5
                : 3
                : 419-428
                [ 1 ]School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide , Adelaide, Australia
                [ 2 ]Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies , Melbourne, Australia, and Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre, Swinburne University of Technology , Melbourne, Australia
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Paul Delfabbro; School of Psychology, Level 4, Hughes Building, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia; Phone: +61 8 8313 4936; E-mail: paul.delfabbro@ 123456adelaide.edu.au
                © 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.

                : 09 May 2016
                : 17 August 2016
                : 30 August 2016
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 6, Equations: 0, References: 29, Pages: 10
                Funding sources: This study was funded by a research grant from Gambling Research Australia.
                Full-length Report

                Medicine,Psychology,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                customer behavior,problem gambling,identification,harm minimization,staff training


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