Characteristics of people seeking treatment for problem gambling in Ontario: Trends from 1998 to 2002
Keywords:problem gambling, treatment system, help seeking, gender comparisons, trends analysis
This report summarizes the characteristics of individuals who sought help within Ontario's specialized problem gambling treatment system during its first four years of operation. All clients recorded in the provincial information system database as having entered a gambling treatment program between April 1, 1998, and March 31, 2002, are included. Broad trends and gender differences in demographic characteristics, gambling behaviours, and problem severity are considered and compared by fiscal year. Compared to population-based estimates of problem gambling, the number of clients served by this specialized treatment system is low but steadily increasing. Women have consistently made up approximately one third of clients entering treatment in each fiscal year, and their sociodemographic profile, their gaming preferences, and the duration of their problem gambling careers differ from those of male clients. The growing proportion of clients of both genders seeking help for problems related to slot machines is of primary concern and warrants further study.
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