Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 409–419 | Cite as

Lessons from the Grey Area: A Closer Inspection of At-risk Gamblers

  • Ingeborg Lund
Original Paper


The study takes a closer look at at-risk gamblers, with the objective to see how they differ from no-risk gamblers. The data comes from a national gambling survey in 2002, and the age group is 15–74 years. The sample consists of 4188 current gamblers with no current gambling problems or pathology. The analysis includes cross-tabulations and a logistic regression. The results show that at-risk gamblers differed substantially from no-risk gamblers in terms of demographic characteristics, gambling behaviour and the presence of other assumed risk factors. Demographic segments with a higher risk of falling into the at-risk group are men, young people, divorced or single people, and non-western immigrants. Furthermore, gambling problems in the family, beginners luck and misconceptions about winning chances significantly increased the odds for at-risk gambling. The study concludes that at-risk gamblers deserve more attention from research, that their similarity with problem gamblers increases the likelihood that many of them will eventually develop a gambling problem, and that their tendency to be superstitious about winning chances might be exploited in preventive work.


At-risk gambling Adults Risk factors 



The study is funded by the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS). The author thanks an anonymous referee for helpful comments on an earlier version of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug ResearchOsloNorway

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