Problem Gambling Research Group



Problem Gambling




University of


Problem Gambling

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) of the American Psychiatric Association classifies pathological gambling as an impulse control disorder. In the DSM IV pathological gambling is conceptualized as a persistent behaviour in which a person's gambling activities significantly disrupt his or her social, financial, vocational or family life.

Although pathological gambling is classified separately from other forms of addiction in the DSM IV, such as substance dependence disorder, the basic diagnostic criteria for these disorders are almost identical, with the exception of the additional criterion of attempting to recoup losses through gambling.

Most gambling surveys include a second category, problem gambling, which includes individuals who fail to meet the diagnostic criteria of pathological gambling but have several significant problems associated with their gambling activities.

The Problem Gambling Research Group, in an Ontario Ministry of Health funded project, has been monitoring problem gambling in the Windsor community for the last five years. In 1994, a comunity survey estimated that 0.8% of the adult population were pathological gamblers in the previous year and that an additional 1.5% of the adult population experienced a significant number of gambling related problems in the previous year. The combined total of problem and pathological gambling in the previous year was 2.2%.

In 1996 the National Council of Welfare published a report entitled Gambling in Canada, summarizing the available data on gambling and problem gambling in Canada. For the six provinces that had data on the levels of problem and pathological gambling the combined levels of problem and pathological gambling in the previous year ranged from 2.7% to 5.4%.

If you have concerns about your gambling or the gambling activities of someone close to you, it is suggested that you seek help from Gamblers Anonymous, a gambling/addictions counselor, or a psychiatrist or psychologist.

The following links may assist you in assessing the severity of a gambling problem and in finding local treatment providers.

Gamblers Anonymous

The Canadian Foundation on Compulsive Gambling (Ontario)

The National Council on Problem Gambling U.S.A.

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