Although many studies on problem gambling have concluded that females gamble on a narrower range of gambling activities than men* and are less likely to be lifetime problem gamblers, most studies do not stratify the data by gender to explore more detailed aspects of female gambling. The Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission recently issued a report** discussing the the subgroup of females within their larger study of 1,803 adult Albertans***. Although women represented 38% of lifetime problem gamblers (i.e., scored 3 or more on the “lifetime” South Oaks Gambling Screen items), women represented 50% of current problem gamblers (i.e., scored 3 or more on the “past year” South Oaks Gambling Screen items) in the larger sample. Female current problem gamblers were more than twice as likely as female non-problem gamblers to be under 25 years old, and three times more likely than female non-problem gamblers to be unemployed. The three favorite gambling activities of female gamblers were instant/scratch tickets, lotto-type games, and bingo; current female problem gamblers were twice as likely as female non-problem gamblers to have played bingo. The authors of this study state that these prevalence patterns among female gamblers suggest that the gender gap for problem gambling is beginning to close. More research will help determine whether this observation is supported across different geographical locations.
Sources adapted from:
*Gambling and problem gambling: Gender differences. (1996, October 8). The WAGER, 1(41)
**Wynne, H.J. (1994). Female problem gamblers in Alberta. Edmonton, Alberta: Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission
***Wynne Resources, Ltd. (1994). Gambling and problem gambling in Alberta: Final report. Edmonton, Alberta: Author.
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