Original Articles

An evaluation of gambling addiction and video lottery in the South of Italy


Abstract


Nowadays, pathological gambling is an emerging health problem. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM 5) renames it as 'Gambling Disorder' (GD), thus recognising its highly dependent status. A study was conducted from April 2016 to August 2017 to evaluate the prevalence of this phenomenon by administering an ad hoc questionnaire to adult individuals (both sexes) over the age of 18. 

We analysed a sample of 562 individuals with DSM 5 criteria. We obtained a score > 4 indicating a possible mild gambling disorder in 1.6% of the sample and a score > 6 corresponding to a moderate GD in 2.3% of the sample. We observed that the main motivations for gambling were “having fun” and “the prospect of winning” and 10.9% of respondents had played more than they intended. Furthermore, "problematic" players showed to be more prone to alcohol abuse than "social" players (p < 0.001). Only 7.5% of respondents had already gambling problems in their family (involving in particular their mothers). The phenomenon is, therefore, quite common in our area and, indeed, 64.1% of the sample believes that gambling is a problem in their own territory, however only 20.6% would know where to find help. In conclusion, given the high socio-economic impact of this phenomenon, we believe that it is imperative to establish structured preventions programs in order to to contain the spread of this phenomenon. 

Key words: Gambling; addiction; disorder; prevalence; Italy; population 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2427/12983

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aprex-24955

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EBPH Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health | ISSN 2282-0930

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.