Are you a gambling statistic? New 'expert summary' highlights the prevalence of problem gambling in the U.S.

May 09, 2012

Living within 10 miles of a casino doubles your risk of problem gambling. This is just one of the compelling statistics in the third "Expert Summary" issued by the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions.

The first two summaries highlighted RIA on misuse of and the prevalence of drinking in the workplace.

Kenneth Leonard, PhD, director of RIA, said the expert summaries are consistent with RIA's mission to educate the public, policy makers and practitioners by making them more aware of the institute's work studying addiction in all its forms.

RIA researchers have been studying the country's growing concern with gambling since the late 1990s. They conducted one of the first national gambling studies -- not funded by a gambling-related institution but by the National Institutes of Health -- surveying U.S. adults nationwide about drinking and gambling habits.

The gambling Expert Summary is based primarily on the work of two RIA senior , John Welte, PhD, and Grace Barnes, PhD.

According to the most recent findings of RIA researchers:

- is considerably more common than in the U.S.

- Gambling, frequent gambling and problem gambling increases in frequency during the teen years, reaching its highest level in the 20s and 30s

- Frequent gambling among men is twice that of gambling in women

According to the findings of RIA researchers within the past decade:

- More than 80 percent of Americans gamble every year and between three to five percent of Americans (three to five out of every 100) have a gambling problem

- Problem drinkers are 23 times more likely to have a gambling problem than individuals without

- An estimated 750,000 of U.S. youth – between the ages of 14 and 21 -- are problem gamblers

- Gambling activity was found to increase as youth age

The full text of the Expert Summary is available here, with past issues of the summaries: Expert Summaries.

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