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Gambling Debt Problem Gambling and Bankruptcy Connection


University of Connecticut Health Center

June 2000

Key Findings:

• One-third of problem gamblers who seek treatment in Connecticut have filed for or are in the process of filing for bankruptcy, which is nearly 8 times higher than the general population.

• The average bankrupt problem gambler wagers more than $5,000 per month; non-bankrupt problem gamblers wager approximately $2,900 per month.

• The lifetime debt of a bankrupt problem gambler was $112,000; the lifetime debt of a non-bankrupt problem was $68,000.

• Women problem gamblers were more likely to file for bankruptcy than men, 53 percent versus 23 percent.

Gender Differences in Pathological Gambling

University of Connecticut Health Center

October 2001

This study examined 115 patients admitted into pathological/problem gambling treatment programs at the UCONN Health Center.

Key Findings:

• Women start gambling later in life than men, 48.1 years vs 43.8 years, and seek treatment sooner.

• Men were more than five times more likely to have turned to illegal activities to support gambling.

• Although women pathological gamblers are less likely to have alcohol problems, they are more likely to live with a spouse with an alcohol or a gambling problem.–22 percent vs 7.1 percent.

• Male pathological gamblers are about two times more likely to have received treatment for substance abuse.

Gambling More Prevalent in Youths Than Adults

Randy Stinchfield, Ph.D., University of Minnesota,

Rina Gupta, Ph.D. and Jeffrey L. Derevensky, Ph.D., McGill University, Durand Jacobs, Ph.D.

This research was presented at the 106th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (1998).

Key Findings:

• 5 percent to 8 percent of American and Canadian youths have serious gambling problems. Adult prevalence rates run between 1 percent and 3 percent.

• Although the majority of young people are occasional gamblers, a percentage of youths do gamble regularly.

• Older, non-Caucasian male youths are most likely to gamble. Other factors increasing likelihood are antisocial behavior and alcohol use.

• A major finding from a University of Minnesota study, based on a survey of 122,700 Minnesota public school students in 1992 and 75,900 students in 1995, was that gambling frequency for most young people doesn’t change with time. Yet with a small minority of young problem gamblers, frequency did increase.

• Rina Gupta, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Derevensky, Ph.D., professors at McGill University, surveyed 817 high school students in Montreal. A few of the findings: more than 80 percent gambled in the previous year and 35 percent gambled at least once a week; enjoyment and excitement were the top motivators; and problem gamblers were more likely to have parents with gambling problems, to be involved with illegal activities and to have suicidal thoughts.


In addition to professional help for their gambling problem debt consolidation may also be a usefull tool to combat the overwhelming effects gambling can have on a person’s debt.

Strong Link Between Gambling and Alcohol

Research Institute on Addictions,

University at Buffalo, New York

John W. Welte, Ph.D., Lead Researcher

December 2001

Results are based on random telephone interviews with 2,600 American adults. This study was funded through a $1.2 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Key Findings:

• Between 1 percent and 2 percent of the American population are compulsive gamblers or 1 or 2 people in every 100 are compulsive gamblers.

• Problem drinkers are 23 times more likely to be problem gamblers.

• Pathological gambling prevalence rates were significantly higher for non-Caucasian race groups. Caucasians, 5 percent; African-Americans, 3.7 percent; and Hispanic-Americans, 4.2 percent.

Study Links Gambling and Crime

Auckland University, New Zealand

Robert Brown, Peter Adams and Sean Sullivan, researchers

October 22, 2000

Results based upon a survey of 100 “newly received” prisoners.

Key Findings:

• 24 percent were designated as probable pathological gamblers, which was eight times more than the general population. There are more than 15,000 inmates in New Zealand each year.

• More than 40 percent of inmates designated as pathological gamblers reported a link between gambling and their offense(s).

• Many inmate pathological gamblers stole or committed other offenses to support their gambling activity or to chase their losses.

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