The study was published by the University of Bremen in cooperation with the Institute for Interdisciplinary Addiction and Drug Research (ISD) and was financially supported by the German Lotto and Totoblock. The researchers primarily wanted to pursue the question of which “gamer type” is particularly prone to problematic or addictive gaming behavior. Just a few weeks ago, in an article, we asked ourselves whether every third slot machine player is addicted to gambling.
Young people are particularly susceptible to addiction
In the current study, the authors Sven Buth, Gerhard Meyer and Jens Kalke came to the conclusion that the proportion of gamblers with a “gambling-associated disorder” is above average, especially at a young age. Accordingly, 4.3% of 21 to 25 year olds suffer from such a disorder. With increasing age, the probability of a “gambling disorder” decreases. While the proportion of 26 to 35 year olds is only slightly lower at 4.2%, it is only 0.9% among 56 to 70 year olds.
While a total of 5.7% of all respondents basically “risky gaming behavior” can be assumed, the proportion of non-gamers or players who display unproblematic gaming behavior is still around 92%.
Overall, 2.3% of respondents aged 18 to 70 had a “gambling disorder”. As one of the authors and ISD expert, Sven Buth pointed out that this proportion was significantly higher than in previous studies. The ISD project manager Jens Kalke added that on the basis of the current investigation, the “measures for the protection of players and young people should be evaluated and improved if necessary”.
A “gambling-associated disorder” can be recognized, among other things, by the fact that those affected hide their gambling activities and continue to gamble in order to compensate for losses suffered. In addition, those affected experience withdrawal symptoms if they do not (or cannot) play for some time. In a somewhat older guide, we already tried to find an answer to the question of how gambling addiction can be recognized early and combated efficiently.
Almost 7% of those surveyed took part in risky gambling within a year
According to the study, 6.8% of respondents participated in so-called risky gambling in the period from the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021. This includes in particular casino games, slot machines and sports betting. It is interesting that the proportion of men surveyed in this area was 10.4%, significantly higher than the corresponding proportion of women (3.2%).
Overall, around one in three respondents (29.7%) took part in a game of chance during the survey period. As part of the study, a total of 12,303 women and men were interviewed between August and October 2021. Back in October we published an article dealing with online gambling safety.
The current study comes to the conclusion that, in addition to gamblers with a low risk potential, there is also a “significant proportion of problem gamblers”. Young men in particular are still particularly at risk of exhibiting at least problematic gambling behavior.
For this reason, those responsible for the study once again expressly pointed out in the last sentence that “educational materials and staff training for the early detection of gambling problems in all forms of gambling (…)” should be part of this. The entire gambling survey 2021 can be viewed here as a PDF document.