Criminal offenses in gamblers anonymous and hospital treated pathological gamblers

  • authors:

    Alex P. Blaszczynski, Neil McConaghy
  • published in

    : 1994
  • summary

    : The purpose of this study was to compare the nature and prevalence of gambling and non-gambling related offenses in samples of pathological gamblers seeking behavioural treatment from a hospital-based program and those attending Gamblers Anonymous. A semi-structured interview schedule obtaining demographic data and details of the nature, frequency, and consequent legal action of criminal offenses committed was administered to 152 consecutive hospital treated pathological gamblers, and 154 Gamblers Anonymous attendees who volunteered to participate in the study. Of the total sample, 59% admitted a gambling-related offense, and 23% to a conviction. There was no difference in the proportion of hospital treated and Gamblers Anonymous subjects who offended. The most common gambling-related offenses were larceny, embezzlement and misappropriation. Gamblers committed a median of ten offenses over an average ten year period of pathological gambling with a median value of $ A 3001 per offense. The median value for each non-gambling-related offense was $ A 130. Except for the significantly older mean age of Gamblers Anonymous subjects, hospital treated gamblers did not differ from Gamblers Anonymous attenders on relevant demographic features or parameters of gambling behaviour. Findings were interpreted to suggest a possible causal link between pathological gambling and the commission of non-violent property offenses. This study was supported by a grant from the Criminology Research Council. The views expressed are the responsibility of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Council. The contribution of Anna Frankova, Research Assistant, is gratefully acknowledged.
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  • type

    : article in journal
  • publisher

    : Springer Netherlands
  • is part of a publication

    : Journal of Gambling Studies
  • volume

    : 10
  • issue

    : 2
  • copyright

    : © Springer
  • original language

    : English
  • article pagination

    : start page: 99 - end page: 127
  • keywords

    : criminal activity , gamblers , gamblers anonymous , hospital treatment , pathological gambling
  • Article entered in GambLIB database on nov. 28. 2008, 14:11
  • Item added by user Tina Krušnik