Pathological gambling and associated patterns of crime: Comparisons with alcohol and other drug addictions

Abstract

The pattern of convictions for various categories of crime in the population of the United Kingdom was compared with the corresponding pattern in a sample of addictive gamblers drawn from Gamblers Anonymous in the U.K. A distinctive pattern of income-generating crime was found to be statistically associated with pathological gambling. This pattern was compared with other distinctive patterns associated with the intake of alcohol and with various other drugs and it was found to resemble most closely that of addiction to narcotic drugs.

The possible role of gambling as a contributory cause of crime is discussed in the light of what is known of the issues surrounding other addictions as causes of their distinctive patterns of crime.

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The content and presentation of this paper benefited from the comments of J. Gillies and A.J. Weir, both of the Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow. The collection of the data would have been impossible without the active encouragement and assistance of the General Services Board of Gamblers Anonymous, U.K., its chairman G. Moody and the National Committee of Gamblers Anonymous, U.K.

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Brown, R.I.F. Pathological gambling and associated patterns of crime: Comparisons with alcohol and other drug addictions. J Gambling Stud 3, 98–114 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01043449

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Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Distinctive Pattern
  • Pathological Gambling
  • Drug Addiction
  • Narcotic Drug