Study Results

Wave Three findings link frequency of gambling with development of problem gambling

Wave Three of The Victorian Gambling Study examined the gambling behaviour and health of 5620 Victorian adults, 4158 of whom participated in all three waves or years of the study.

Researchers investigated the relationship between health and new cases of problem gambling, and found that:

  • Participants who experienced anxiety during the first three years of the study were four times more likely to develop a gambling problem.
  • Participants with a previous history of gambling problems were six times more likely to become a problem gambler, suggesting that relapse may be common.

Other risk factors associated with the development of high risk gambling behaviour included having other health conditions, smoking, and alcohol dependence.

Researchers also examined the frequency of participation in particular types of gambling among those participants with a lifetime history of gambling, and found that:

  • Gamblers who played frequently on electronic gaming machines were more likely to develop a gambling problem during the three years of the study.
  • There was a strong link between the frequency of wagering on horse and greyhound races and an increased risk of developing a gambling problem.

The transition or movement of participants between risk categories revealed that those with a moderate risk of developing a gambling problem in Wave One had the greatest risk of becoming problem gamblers by Wave Three.

Most problem gamblers (69 percent) remained problem gamblers during the study, suggesting that for some people, problem gambling is long term by nature.

Non-problem gamblers were also a stable risk group, with 86 per cent remaining non-problem gamblers.

Wave Four, the fourth and final stage of The Victorian Gambling Study, is under development and will be released in 2013.

Read The Victorian Gambling Study - A Longitudinal Study of Gambling and Public Health Wave Three Findings.

Wave Three

Qualitative Component

Wave Two

Baseline Study