Gamblers Anonymous: A critical review of the literature


  • Peter Ferentzy Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, E-mail: <email xlink:href=""></email>
  • Wayne Skinner Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Ca



This study surveys existing literature on Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and issues that help to contextualise our understanding of this mutual aid association. While GA has been the subject of investigation by social scientists, it is still understudied, with a notable shortage of research on issues facing women and ethnic minorities. A need exists for large-scale assessments of GA's effectiveness, more detailed accounts of GA beliefs and practices, increased knowledge of the ways in which GA attendance interacts with both formal treatment and attendance at other mutual aid organisations, and a better understanding of the profiles of gamblers best (and least) suited to GA, along with a clearer grasp of what GA was able to offer those gamblers that it seems to have helped. This assessment of the current state of knowledge underscores the embryonic state of our collective inquiry into the nature of GA, and the authors emphasise that significant advances have been made. Notably, important targets for study are being identified.






Literature Review

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