Title: Pathways to Pathological Gambling: Identifying Typologies
Abstract: The majority of explanatory models of pathological gambling fail to differentiate specific typologies of gamblers despite recognition of the multi-factorial causal pathways to its development. All models inherently assume that gamblers are a homogenous population; therefore theoretically derived treatments can be effectively applied to all pathological gamblers. This article describes a comprehensive and alternative conceptual-pathway model that identifies three main subgroups: “normal,” emotionally vulnerable and biologically based impulsive pathological gamblers. All three groups are exposed to common influences related to ecological factors, cognitive processes and contingencies of reinforcement. However, predisposing emotional stresses and affective disturbances for one group, and biological impulsivity for another, are additional risk factors of aetiological significance in identifying separate subtypes. The implications for treatment are discussed with particular reference to the need to match client subtype with specific treatment interventions.
Title: Relationship between gender and substance use among treatment-seeking gamblers
Abstract: Very little is known about gender differences in psychoactive substance use among gamblers. In this study, 200 individuals seeking treatment for problem gambling were assessed with respect to lifetime and current use and abuse of licit and illicit substances. As a group, they were found to have experience with psychoactive substances exceeding that reported for the general population. There were no gender differences in patterns of illicit drugs; however, the women gamblers reported greater experience with psychiatric medications over the lifetime and during the treatment and follow-up periods.
Abstract: Alberta is Canada’s gambling hotbed. In this article, the author explores the preoccupation of Albertans with this form of entertainment and discusses recent events related to gambling in this province. These include the divisive community video lottery terminal (VLT) debate, hotel operators lobbying for gambling expansion, the government’s role in Internet gambling and the increasing reliance of charities on gambling revenues. The author concludes by forecasting four “gambling megatrends” based on experiences from this bellwether province: gambling in Canada will continue to expand in the foreseeable future; a high-tech gambling future will include Internet gambling in the home; special “gaming rooms” and “mini-casinos” will appear in hotels and convention centres; and charitable organizations will increasingly depend on gambling revenues for their good works.