Problem Gamblers Account for Most Money Spent, Study Reveals

Most gamblers usually try their luck only on occasion and tend not to risk significant amounts of money, which is definitely a smart move. Still, casinos always turn out to be very profitable despite how cautious the gamblers are about risking their hard-earned money. Well, as it turns, a small number of problem gamblers account for most of the money that is spent in casinos, sports tracks and video lottery terminals. This is according to study that was conducted by Sylvia Kairouz and her colleagues in Germany and France – the researchers have since published a new paper on gambling habits in the Journal of Business Research based on the information that they uncovered.

In the course of the study, the researchers looked at the amounts of money that people spend on gambling as well as the frequency in which people gamble in three jurisdictions. They found that despite the fact that Quebec, France, and Germany have very different gambling cultures as well as very different modes of gambling, the spending habits were predominantly concentrated among small groups.

“And there are not just cultural differences: the regulatory systems are different, the gambling games offered are different. These are solid results because they have been replicated in three different contexts,” says Sylvia Kairouz who is an associate professor of sociology and anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

To verify their findings, the researchers used the GINI coefficient which is usually used in economics to measure statistical dispersion. With that, they analyzed sets of data that had been collected by a national health survey in France, a government research program in Germany as the Quebec Survey which was conducted by researchers at the Concordia and Université de Montréal.

The Figures

According to figures from the study and analysis of the data, problematic and pathological gamblers jointly accounted for “40.2 percent of all gambling expenses in France, 31.6 percent in Quebec and 32 percent in Germany.” Surprisingly, the problematic and pathological gamblers only accounted for “4.8 percent of the gamblers in France, 2.7 percent in Quebec and 4.6 percent in Germany.”

In addition to that, the researchers also discovered that the problem gamblers were more drawn to certain types of games as compared to others. For instance, while lotteries were not a popular choice for this category of gamblers, they were found to be more attracted to table games, poker and sports betting (France) as well as slot machine including video poker (Quebec).

Clearly, there is something insanely wrong with the gambling industry and hopefully, the study will serve as an eye-opener for both policymakers and stakeholders in responsible gambling campaigns or initiatives.