The prevalence of problem gambling amongst Canadian federal ...

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The prevalence of problem gambling amongst Canadian federal ...

Why study gamblingproblems in offenders?♦ High prevalence of problem gambling inprevious offender samples♦ Gambling and crime involve poor impulsecontrol♦ Excessive gambling crime; DSM-IV,item 8♦ No problem gambling services for offenders♦ Gambling debts institutional violence


internetvltProblem games:Helpline calls by game in Ontario.2500200015002001200510005000slotscardsnot identifiedbingoracingroulette,dicelotteriesscratchsportsnoneotherbreakopen


Problem games for the pathologicalgamblers / offender sample (n = 17).Before incarceration.45%40%35%30%25%20%15%10%5%0%Slot machinesCasino cardgamesOther tablegameRace trackbettingLotteriesAny unregulatedgame


PG Severity & Type of Crime♦ Violent: rho = .01♦ Income producing: rho = .28– Theft, rho = .25– Break and entry: rho = .25♦ Non violent /non income: rho = .15♦ PG+SPG 2.4 times more likely to be reoffendersthen NPG


More about violent crimeIncome Violent OtherNon-gambler ( n = 42) 8.9 4.8 10Infrequent (n = 63) 6.6 3.6 7.6Social (n = 81) 8.1 3.1 10.4Sub-clinical problem (n = 52) 14.4 4.2 11.2Pathological gambler (n = 17) 13.5 3.3 12.9Full sample (n = 255) 9.5 3.7 10


Interviews♦ Semi-structured interview– gambling behaviour– history– relationship of crime & gambling♦ 106 offenders interviewed in depth– 100% of pathological gamblers– 80% of problem gamblers– 17% of non-problem groups


Relationship of gambling andcrime:(a) involvement in gambling led tocriminal activity.(b) involvement in criminal activity led togambling.(c) gambling and criminal activity areunrelated.


Involvement in gambling led tocriminal activity.♦ Robbery was committed to pay off a loan that wastaken out to pay off an earlier gambling debt.♦ Gambling led to debt, my debt led to crime… andaround it goes.♦ Need for money to gamble with led to fraud.Proceeds of fraud going directly to gambling.♦ Took up muscling for bookie in order to pay offgambling debts. Involvement in criminal lifestyleled to more gambling, specifically when collectingwould offer debtor opportunity to bet double ornothing.


Involvement in criminalactivity led to gambling.♦ Criminal activity put me in jail, which is where Ilearned bookmaking·♦ I was bringing in $5000/wk and had to spend itsomewhere♦ Card games held privately therefore illegal.Criminal peers enjoyed gambling therefore Igambled as well.♦ Crime provided more time and disposable incometo gamble with and paid bills. Had more money togamble with.


Related but unclear.♦ Won at gambling and then used proceeds to buy abig bag of weed. Also Gambling privately inunlicensed establishments is illegal.♦ Extra $ from criminal activity did lead toadditional pull-tab activities. Also used stolen carto get around town where pull-tabs were available.♦ Used proceeds to gamble with and committedproperty crimes to pay off gambling debts.


Gambling and criminal activityare unrelated.♦ Unrelated.♦ Reported no gambling during 8-monthcrime spree due to disinterest in anythingbut getting high on crack.


Crime gambling?NPG SPG PGGambling crime 6.5%32.6% 58.8%Crime gambling 26.1% 27.9% 5.9%Unclear / two way 4.3% 9.3% 11.8%Unrelated 63.0% 30.2% 23.5%


Institutional Gambling♦ 42% of offenders report gambling in prison♦ They use smokes, food, personal items, andmoney (if available) as currency♦ Most often play cards or bet on sports♦ 80% of interview subjects told us that thereis a risk of physical harm from gambling


Implications1) Significant need to provide servicesfor this population2) Intervention should becomprehensive, allow forheterogeneity, & take a broad rangeof clinical needs into account3) Effective intervention has potentialto reduce recidivism


More Implications4) Differences in games played betweengeneral population and offender samples(slot vs. sport & cards) must be taken intoconsideration in treatment planning foroffender samples5) Institutional gambling is common, andrelated to institutional security concerns.Further study is warranted in order tomake recommendations regardingmanagement & enforcement

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