New study shows correlation between gambling behaviour and life events

A new qualitative study by Swinburne University supports existing research on problem gambling.

Gamblers tell their stories: Life patterns of gambling examines the patterns of gambling behaviour demonstrated by 48 Victorians over the course of their lives, and explores the interconnectedness of life experiences, gambling motivations and the negative impacts of gambling.

Problem gamblers and moderate risk gamblers in the study reported that gambling had impacted negatively on aspects of their lives such as their sense of self, relationships, health and finances.

Over the course of their lives, the triggers that increased or changed gambling activity included work stress, job loss, financial difficulties, depression, and relationship breakdowns.

Participants had multiple motivations for gambling including fun and excitement, winning, and social enjoyment.

For problem gamblers and moderate risk gamblers, gambling was a way to escape emotional pain or avoid stressful aspects of their lives.

Accessibility to gaming venues influenced the frequency of gambling for some participants, particularly for those who used gaming machines .

The study was originally funded and managed by the Victorian Government Department of Justice as part of Round Three of the Grants for Gambling Research Program. As of 1 July 2012, management of the Program has transferred to the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

The full report is available on the VRGF website.