Pathological Gambling Linked To Other Psychiatric Disorders

Newly Released Monograph from NCRG Examines Disordered Gambling through a Public Health Lens

Nov 17, 2008

LAS VEGAS– More than 96 percent of people who have had pathological gambling in their lifetime also have suffered from an additional psychiatric or substance-abuse disorder, according to research summarized in the latest volume ofIncreasing the Odds: A Series Dedicated to Understanding Gambling Disorders. Released today by the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG), this publication is the fourth volume in the NCRG’sIncreasing the Oddsmonograph series and the second of two monographs dedicated to exploring gambling through a public health lens. “Gambling and the Public Health, Part 2” features scientific research that can inform public health strategies and responsible gaming programs designed to reduce gambling-related harms.

“The monograph series is a vehicle for sharing new and critical research on gambling disorders with the public,” says Phil Satre, chairman of the NCRG. “The studies highlighted in this latest volume examine disordered gambling behavior as a public health issue, assessing the social, cultural and economic variables that influence the condition.”

“Gambling and the Public Health, Part 2” was released today at the 9th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction in Las Vegas. The publication includes a summary by Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D., of new research on the prevalence of other mental disorders among pathological gamblers. According to the study, nearly all pathological gamblers are affected by an additional psychiatric condition, such as mood, anxiety, impulse-control and substance-abuse disorders. Additionally, those disorders typically surface at an earlier age than gambling disorders, suggesting that they may actually cause the subsequent onset of pathological gambling.

The publication also includes research summaries from Alex Blaszczynski, Ph.D., on a strategic framework for creating effective responsible gaming programs and public policies; Allyson J. Peller, M.P.H., on whether new gambling technology – including online gambling Web sites and electronic gaming machines – affects player behavior; Richard A. LaBrie, Ed.D., on how self-exclusion data can provide a valid measure of the prevalence of gambling disorders and inform public health planners; and Robert Ladouceur, Ph.D., on the efficacy of a self-exclusion program in Quebec.

“Gambling and the Public Health, Part 1” includes research on pathological gambling prevalence rates, the demographic characteristics of youth gamblers and the effects of increased exposure to gambling. Both publications are available online

About the NCRG
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. Founded in 1996 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the NCRG’s mission is to help individuals and families affected by gambling disorders by supporting the finest peer-reviewed, scientific research into pathological and youth gambling; encouraging the application of new research findings to improve prevention, diagnostic, intervention and treatment strategies; and advancing public education about responsible gaming. The NCRG is the American Gaming Association’s affiliated charity. For more information,

NCRG funds provide grants to researchers to increase understanding of pathological gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. The funds are distributed through the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, a program of the Division on Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information,