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J Gambl Stud. 1994 Dec;10(4):399-409. doi: 10.1007/BF02104905.

Social cost of pathological gambling.

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Ecole de Psychologie, Université Laval, G1K 7P4, Québec, Canada.


Pathological gambling creates enormous problems for the afflicted individuals, their families, employers, and society, and has numerous disastrous financial consequences. The present study evaluates the financial burdens of pathological gambling by questioning pathological gamblers in treatment in Gamblers Anonymous (n=60; 56 males, 4 females; mean age = 40 years old) about personal debts, loss of productivity at work, illegal activities, medical costs and the presence of other dependencies. Results show that important debts, loss of productivity at work and legal problems are associated with pathological gambling. Discussion is formulated in terms of the social cost of adopting a liberal attitude toward the legalization of various gambling activities.


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