Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 353–369 | Cite as

The prevalence of pathological gambling in Galicia (Spain)

  • Elisardo Becoña


Since 1977, when gambling was legalized in Spain, the amount of money spent on it has increased each year. Expenditures on gambling are now more than 3 billion pesetas per year. This paper provides the results of a study on the prevalence of pathological gambling in the Galicia region of northwest Spain, with a representative random sample (N=1,615) from the seven largest cities of Galicia. The prevalence of pathological gambling was 1.7% utilising the DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria. An additional 1.6% were problem gamblers, 0.6% excessive social gamblers and 1% exexcessive gamblers. The results suggest that slot machines are the most addictive form of gambling. Pathological gamblers are homogeneously distributed in the population with the exception that males and upper income family membership are overrepresented. Alcohol and cigarette consumption were higher among pathological gamblers than in the general population.


Alcohol General Population Random Sample Income Family Large City 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisardo Becoña
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de Psicología. Departamento de Psicología Clínica y Psicobiología Campus UniversitarioUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaGaliciaSpain

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