Low & moderate risk gamblers more likely to change risk category

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Problem gamblers and non-problem gamblers are the least likely to move risk categories, Wave Three of the Victorian Gambling Study has revealed.

Overall, there were more movements in and out of the low risk and moderate risk categories

The risk categories used in the study are:

  • non-gambler - does not gamble
  • non-problem gambler - does not have a problem with their gambling
  • low risk gambler - has a small chance of developing a problem
  • moderate risk gambler - has moderate chance of developing a problem
  • problem gambler - has a gambling problem.

Over 64 per cent of problem gamblers and nearly 86 per cent of non-problem gamblers in Wave One remained in their risk categories in Wave Three. This points to a certain amount of stability in these groups over the three waves.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of moderate risk gamblers moved risk categories.

Wave Three interviews were conducted between October 2010 and January 2011. A total of 5,620 respondents completed the third wave. Of that total, 4,155 (2,517 females, 1,638 males) participants have completed all waves of the study, while 1,465 completed only the first and third waves.

The principal research team used a predictive method to analyse the data from the 4,155 participants who completed all three waves.

The analysis showed that moderate risk gamblers in Wave One had the greatest probability, compared to other risk groups, of becoming problem gamblers by Wave Three (10.6 per cent).

From Wave Two to Three the most stable risk categories were the non-problem gamblers (86 per cent) and problem gamblers (69 per cent) who did not move risk categories. This was also the case from Wave One to Two.

Moderate risk gamblers in Wave Two were the most likely to move into the problem gambling category in Wave Three. Again, this was also the case with movements into the problem gambling risk category from Wave One to Two.

Approximately 6 per cent of participants increased their risk status from Wave Two to Wave Three. This means that participants moved into the low risk, moderate risk or problem gambling risk category from a lower risk category.

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