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Prevalence studies of problem gambling in the United States

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The rapid expansion of legalized gambling in the United States has produced tremendous demands for information about the number and characteristics of problem gamblers in the general population. This paper examines the results of prevalence studies of problem and pathological gambling that have been carried out in the United States. The discussion is largely chronological, with a focus on comparative findings from the 15 United States jurisdictions where prevalence studies have been completed since 1980. The results of diese studies verify findings from clinical and experimental studies as well as suggesting important avenues for future research. The paper concludes with a consideration of the role played by survey research in advancing the field of gambling research.

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The author would like to acknowledge the Connecticut Division of Special Revenues, the Iowa Department of Human Services, the Montana Department of Corrections and Human Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health, the North Dakota Department of Human Services, the University of South Dakota Business Research Bureau, the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Washington State Lottery for funding several of the gambling surveys discussed here. A substantial proportion of the research reported here was supported by a grant (MH 44295) from the Violence and Traumatic Stress Research Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Volberg, R.A. Prevalence studies of problem gambling in the United States. J Gambling Stud 12, 111–128 (1996).

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