Characteristics and Gender Differences Among Self-Excluded Casino Problem Gamblers: Missouri Data
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The present study explores gender-related differences in the demographic and gambling-related characteristics of 2670 problem gamblers participating in a state-administered (Missouri) casino self-exclusion program between 2001 and 2003. Female (n=1298, 48.4%) and male (n=1372, 51.1%) participants ranged in age from 21 to 84 years. Gender-related differences were noted among demographic variables, patterns of gambling behavior, reasons for self-exclusion, and involvement in self-help, counseling, and bankruptcy services. Female self-excluders were more likely than males to be older at time of application, African American, and either retired, unemployed or otherwise outside the traditional workforce. In addition, female self-excluders were more likely to report a later age of gambling onset, a shorter period between onset and self-exclusion, a preference for non-strategic forms of gambling and prior bankruptcy. The main predictors for female participation in self-exclusion included a desire to gain control and prevent suicide and referral by a counselor. The desire to save the marriage was a motivating factor for all participants. Findings suggest that the most efficacious treatment strategies with this group will include family systemic therapy and financial management in addition to pharmaco-treatment and culturally-sensitive individual therapy.
Keywordsself-exclusion gender differences problem or pathological gambling gambling treatment.
The authors wish to thank Kevin Mullally, Melissa Stephens, and Annette Turner of the Missouri Gaming Commission and Jenna Zimmerman of the University of Missouri-St. Louis for their invaluable assistance and support of this project.
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