Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 99–127 | Cite as

Criminal offenses in gamblers anonymous and hospital treated pathological gamblers

  • Alex P. Blaszczynski
  • Neil McConaghy


The purpose of this study was to compare the nature and prevalence of gambling and non-gambling related offenses in samples of pathological gamblers seeking behavioural treatment from a hospital-based program and those attending Gamblers Anonymous. A semi-structured interview schedule obtaining demographic data and details of the nature, frequency, and consequent legal action of criminal offenses committed was administered to 152 consecutive hospital treated pathological gamblers, and 154 Gamblers Anonymous attendees who volunteered to participate in the study. Of the total sample, 59% admitted a gambling-related offense, and 23% to a conviction. There was no difference in the proportion of hospital treated and Gamblers Anonymous subjects who offended. The most common gambling-related offenses were larceny, embezzlement and misappropriation. Gamblers committed a median of ten offenses over an average ten year period of pathological gambling with a median value of $ A 3001 per offense. The median value for each non-gambling-related offense was $ A 130. Except for the significantly older mean age of Gamblers Anonymous subjects, hospital treated gamblers did not differ from Gamblers Anonymous attenders on relevant demographic features or parameters of gambling behaviour. Findings were interpreted to suggest a possible causal link between pathological gambling and the commission of non-violent property offenses.


Demographic Data Total Sample Behavioural Treatment Causal Link Pathological Gambler 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex P. Blaszczynski
    • 1
  • Neil McConaghy
    • 2
  1. 1.University of New South WalesLiverpoolAustralia
  2. 2.University of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

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