Authors:Monika Ludwig, Ludwig Kraus, Stefanie Müller, Barbara Braun, and Gerhard Bühringer
This study examined changes in general population gambling in the light of two major amendments of the German gambling regulation, the Fifth Amendment of the German Gambling Ordinance (AGO) for commercial amusement machines with prizes (AWP) and the State Treaty on Gambling (STG) for gambling activities subject to the state monopoly.
Applying cross-sectional data from the 2006 and 2009 Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse (ESA), propensity-score-matched samples of 7,970 subjects and 3,624 12-month gamblers aged 18–64 years were used for analyses. Logistic regression was employed to examine changes in gambling controlling for possible confounding variables.
Overall participation in state gambling activities, participation in lotto as well as TV lottery decreased and gambling on Internet card games increased. No changes were found for any other gambling activity, 12-month prevalence of any gambling and pathological gambling. While weekly gambling declined, overall multiple gambling increased. Effects were similar in the total sample and among current gamblers.
Prohibiting specific gambling activities, e.g., Internet gambling, seem to be insufficient approaches to change gambling behavior. Supply reduction might need to be enhanced by changes in game characteristics and implementation of early intervention measures. However, long-term consequences are uncertain and further monitoring is needed.
Authors:Barbara Braun, Monika Ludwig, Pawel Sleczka, Gerhard Bühringer, and Ludwig Kraus
Background and aims
As only a minority of pathological gamblers (PGr) presents for treatment, further knowledge about help-seeking behavior is required in order to enhance treatment utilization. The present study investigated factors associated with treatment participation in gamblers in Germany. As subclinical pathological gamblers (SPGr, fulfilling one to four DSM-IV-criteria) are target of early intervention due to high risk of transition to pathological gambling, they were subject of special interest.
The study analyzed data from a general population survey (n = 234, SPGr: n = 198, PGr: n = 36) and a treatment study (n = 329, SPGr: n = 22, PGr: n = 307). A two-step weighting procedure was applied to ensure comparability of samples. Investigated factors included socio-demographic variables, gambling behavior, symptoms of pathological gambling and substance use.
In PGr, regular employment and non-German nationality were positively associated with being in treatment while gambling on the Internet and gaming machines and fulfilling more DSM-IV-criteria lowered the odds. In SPGr, treatment attendance was negatively associated with married status and alcohol consumption and positively associated with older age, higher stakes, more fulfilled DSM-IV criteria and regular smoking.
In accordance to expectations more severe gambling problems and higher problem awareness and/or external pressure might facilitate treatment entry. There are groups with lower chances of being in treatment: women, ethnic minorities, and SPGr. We propose target group specific offers, use of Internet-based methods as possible adaptions and/or extensions of treatment offers that could enhance treatment attendance.