Gambling and the Multidimensionality of Accessibility: More Than Just Proximity to Venues
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- Thomas, A.C., Bates, G., Moore, S. et al. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2011) 9: 88. doi:10.1007/s11469-009-9256-7
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Accessibility to gambling has been linked to gambling behaviour but remains poorly understood. This study used data from semi-structured focus groups and interviews with 38 participants (Median age 42 years) to explore wider aspects of accessibility. People preferred venues which were open long hours and located close to home, work or regular routes, i.e., geo-temporal accessibility. This was particularly influential for problem gamblers. Social and personal accessibility related to venues as safe, social, easy entertainment experiences, and as an accessible retreat from life issues. The attraction of an accessible retreat was restricted to problem gamblers. Finally, low outlay games and easy access to money increased financial accessibility. Accessibility should therefore be considered multidimensional. Further, results suggested that while gambling as safe, social entertainment may be relatively harmless, the attraction of geo-temporal accessibility and a retreat from problems may encourage excessive gambling in some individuals.