Article

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 41-64

First online:

A Gender-based Examination of Past-year Recreational Gamblers

  • Marc N. PotenzaAffiliated withYale University School of MedicineConnecticut Mental Health Centre Email author 
  • , Paul K. MaciejewskiAffiliated withYale University School of Medicine
  • , Carolyn M. MazureAffiliated withYale University School of Medicine

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Abstract

Background

Most adults gamble recreationally yet few studies have systematically investigated for gender-related differences in recreational gamblers.

Methods

Logistic regression analyses were performed on data from a nationally representative sample of respondents from the 1998 Gambling Impact and Behavior Study.

Results

Female gamblers versus non-gamblers were more likely to report use of alcohol and drugs. Male gamblers versus non-gamblers were more likely to report alcohol use and abuse/dependence, any substance abuse/dependence, and lifetime incarceration. An analysis of gambling by gender group interaction effects did not identify significant differences in health-related measures. Male as compared with female gamblers reported beginning gambling earlier, experiencing higher past-year maximal losses and wins, and finding favorite and engaging in different types of gambling.

Conclusions

Despite heavier gambling in male as compared with female recreational gamblers, similar mental health functioning was observed in female and male past-year recreational gamblers. Types of gambling problematic for men and women are reflected in the gambling preferences of recreational gamblers.