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Fifteen years of problem gambling prevalence research: What do we know? Where do we go?

Rachel A. Volberg


This paper charts the rapid growth of problem gambling prevalence research in North America and internationally. Looking beyond the overall prevalence of problem gambling in the general population, the results of these studies support the notion of a link between the expansion of legal gambling opportunities and the prevalence of problem gambling as well as the notion that the characteristics of problem gamblers change in response to changes in the availability of specific types of gambling. The results of these studies also challenge existing concepts and definitions of problem gambling. In the future, it will be important to improve how problem gambling prevalence research is done. Such work is likely to include changes in how we measure gambling problems as well as requiring us to take steps to overcome obstacles in achieving representative samples of the population and obtaining valid and accurate information.

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