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Which Populations Are Most Vulnerable to Gambling Problems?

It’s no secret that gambling problems are not bound by race, sex, creed, or other qualifiers. Since it is often linked to behavioral conditions and individual circumstances, this issue burrows itself in all different groups of people. However, there do exist certain populations that are considered more at risk of developing gambling problems. These include youth, athletes, the elderly, certain ethnic minorities, as well as people with a history of substance abuse or mental health issues. Of course, these categories and more are not mutually exclusive.

To gain a better sense of how exactly these classifications of people are at an increased risk of problem gambling, let’s consider some studies and statistics.

Problem Gambling Demographics and Risk Factors

The etiology of pathological gambling is due to a confluence of various risk factors. As with other behavioral disorders, this combination varieties on a case-by-case basis and the amount of expression required from each risk factor to demonstrate a problem is not a set one. 

Before we dive deeper into how various external circumstances play a part in problem gambling, let’s take a look at some vulnerabilities:

Now let’s go over a few substantial risk factors, as well as some insight as to how they individually contribute to problem gambling.

Treatment Measures

A 2015 study conducted by The National Center for Biotechnology Information on Austrian participants suggests that the development of severe gambling problems is, to a lesser extent, facilitated by particular risk factors than by their collective presence. Therefore, treatment measures should place a focus on individuals who have grown up in a difficult family situation, suffer from substance-related problems, have poor mental health, or have a low level of formal education.

Do You Suspect You Have A Gambling Problem? Reach out to 800-GAMBLER Today

Each of these groups possesses unique biological, psychological, and socio dynamic characteristics that confer a vulnerability to develop problem gambling behaviors. Being able to recognize those at risk of developing gambling problems is the first step toward effective treatment. So, whether you identify with the discussed demographics or do not, rest assured 800-GAMBLER is here for anyone suffering from problem gambling. Support, treatment, and hope are just one call away.