NCRG White Papers Address Proposed Changes To Gambling Disorders In Dsm-5 And The Latest Research On Online Gambling

Apr 24, 2013

BEVERLY, MASS. – Two white papers released today by the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) focus on important issues impacting the understanding, identification and treatment of gambling disorders and the development of responsible gaming strategies.

The first white paper, “The Evolving Definition of Pathological Gambling in the DSM-5,” was developed in anticipation of the publication of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA)Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)in May and takes a close look at the proposed changes for pathological gambling. The second white paper, “Internet Gambling: An Emerging Field of Research,” provides the latest empirical, peer-reviewed research on Online Gambling to help address many questions that have been raised as U.S. federal and state government officials debate the legalization of online gambling. Both white papers are available as free downloads on the NCRG website

“As an organization dedicated to increasing the understanding of this addiction, we developed these white papers to serve as comprehensive resources that explain key issues and research impacting the field of gambling disorders,” said Christine Reilly, senior research director of the NCRG. “The publication of theDSM-5is arguably the most anticipated event of 2013 for those in the mental health field, and we want to help those with a vested interest better understand the implications it will have on studying, diagnosing and treating gambling disorders.”

The NCRG’s white paper, “The Evolving Definition of Pathological Gambling in theDSM-5,” authored by Reilly and NCRG Program Officer Nathan Smith, takes a look at theDSM-5 changes in context of the broader base of literature about gambling disorders as an addiction. As the primary reference book for mental health professionals and contains descriptions, symptoms and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders, theDSM-5 includes diagnosis criteria used by clinicians to report disorders to insurers for reimbursement, and to public health authorities for causes of illness and death.

“Internet Gambling: An Emerging Field of Research,” authored by Reilly, includes the most reliable research available on online gambling and summarizes the findings of Harvard Medical School Professor Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., and colleagues, on this topic. The Harvard researchers developed new methods for studying online gambling through a partnership with, one of the largest online gaming companies in the world. They had access to the transactions of more than 40,000 online gamblers, which allowed them to study actual gambling behaviors rather than relying on self-reported data.

“The current state of research on Internet gambling offers a mixed picture, with most publications being commentaries—not actual research—or surveys,” said Reilly. “This white paper includes the latest peer-reviewed research of online gambling behaviors relating to online poker, sports betting, casino games and more, and offers suggestions of what areas to research in the future on this topic.”

To learn more about the NCRG, To stay up-to-date on year-round educational opportunities and the latest news and issues in the field, visit the NCRG’s blog –Gambling Disorders 360°– and connect with the NCRG onFacebookandTwitter.