What Influences the Beliefs, Behaviours and Consumption Patterns of ‘Moderate Risk’ Gamblers?
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- Thomas, S.L., Lewis, S., Westberg, K. et al. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2013) 11: 474. doi:10.1007/s11469-013-9432-7
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Gambling is emerging as a significant health issue. Problem gambling does not develop instantaneously and is often the result of risky consumption patterns over a period of time. Early intervention strategies depend on a detailed understanding of ‘at risk’ gamblers, yet surprisingly little is known about this group. This qualitative study explores the beliefs, behaviours, risk perceptions, and consumption patterns of 35 individuals who were screened as having ‘moderate risk’ gambling behaviours. Two thirds of participants gambled at least once a week and most consumed multiple types of gambling products. Participants gambled for social or emotional reasons, with many using gambling as a mechanism to socially connect and interact with others. Perceptions of behavioural control led many to believe that they were not at risk or could control gambling risks. Understanding the range of drivers that influence gambling risk is essential in developing prevention and harm minimisation strategies.