Men and women gamble for different reasons, Yale researchers report

October 12, 2001

Male gamblers are more likely than female gamblers to report addictive behavior related to strategic or "face-to-face" forms of gambling such as blackjack or poker, Yale researchers report in a new study published in the September issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study also showed that female gamblers are more likely to report problems with nonstrategic, less interpersonal forms of gambling, such as slot machines or bingo. The differences observed in the study could lead to more targeted treatments for gambling addiction based on gender.

"We've found that the differences in the underlying motivations to gamble and in problems generated by excessive gambling are gender related," said the study's lead investigator, Marc N. Potenza, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and director of the Problem Gambling Clinic at Yale. "These results show that new strategies may be necessary to maximize treatment efficacy for men and women with gambling problems."

The study authors examined the characteristics of male and female gamblers who called the Connecticut Council on Gambling's helpline in 1998 and 1999. Of the 562 calls used in the analyses, about 62% were from male callers and 38% were from female callers. Gender-related differences were observed in reported patterns of gambling, gambling-related problems such as borrowing and indebtedness, legal situations, suicidal thoughts and acts, and mental health difficulties.

In addition to gender preferences for types of gambling, researchers found that female gamblers were more likely to report receiving nongambling-related mental health treatment, and male gamblers were more likely to report a drug problem or an arrest related to gambling. High rates of debt and psychiatric symptoms related to gambling, including anxiety and depression, were observed in both groups.
Other researchers on the study include Marvin A. Steinberg, Susan D. MaLaughlin, Ran Wu, Bruce C. Rounsaville, M.D., and Stephanie S. O'Malley.

The study was funded by a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression; a Drug Abuse Research Scholar Program in Psychiatry Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the National Institute on Drug Abuse; a grant from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse; and grants from the National Center for Responsible Gaming; the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Illness Research, Educational and Clinical Center; the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation; the Mohegan Sun Casino; and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction.

Yale University

Related Gambling Articles from Brightsurf:

Gambling addiction: an aid from patients' stories
How do people affected by pathological gambling tell their story?

Links between video games and gambling run deeper than previously thought, study reveals
A new study suggests that a number of practices in video games, such as token wagering, real-money gaming, and social casino spending, are significantly linked to problem gambling.

Leading academics call for statutory levy on gambling firms to reduce harm
Leading UK academic scientists are urging the government to introduce a statutory levy on gambling firms to deliver reductions in gambling harms.

How sound and visual effects on slot machines increase the allure of gambling
The sights and sounds of winning on a slot machine may increase your desire to play--and your memories of winning big, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists.

Near misses on slot machines may not encourage continued gambling
For nearly 70 years, researchers believed that near-miss events like these would encourage you to continue gambling.

UMass Amherst researchers release new findings in groundbreaking gambling study
New findings released Sept. 12 from a groundbreaking gambling study by a University of Massachusetts Amherst research team show that out-of-state casino gambling among Massachusetts residents decreased significantly after the Commonwealth's first slot parlor, Plainridge Park Casino, opened in Plainville in the summer of 2015.

Lure of the 'loot box' looks a lot like gambling
An increasingly popular feature of modern video games is attracting gamers who share the beliefs and behaviours of problem gamblers, new UBC research has found.

Gaming or gambling? Online transactions blur boundaries
In-game purchasing systems, such as 'loot boxes', in popular online games resemble gambling and may pose financial risks for vulnerable players, according to gambling psychology researchers at the University of Adelaide.

UMass Amherst team reports gambling research results to Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Results of a baseline study on gambling behavior in Massachusetts that establishes how people participated -- or not -- in gambling prior to the opening of any casinos were reported on Jan.

When new players learn slot-machine tricks, they avoid gambling addiction
Novice gamblers who watched a short video about how slot machines disguise losses as wins have a better chance of avoiding gambling problems, according to new research.

Read More: Gambling News and Gambling Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to