Gambling, Crime, and Other Problem Behaviors: Results From a National Survey

Marianna T. Toce, NORCat the University of Chicago
Dean R. Gerstein, NORC at the University of Chicago
Henrick J. Harwood, The Lewin Group

The connection between problem gambling and deviant behavior has been under-explored in the sociological literature, and the studies that have been conducted have focused almost without exception on individuals in treatment and in prisons/jails. Such data describe the most severely impacted individuals, while a general population survey identifies individuals from no gambling problems to subclinical and clinical levels of severity. A study of this type would permit the investigation of whether one's degree of symptomatology has a positive relationship with crime, drug use, and mental health problems generally. For this investigation, we use data from a landmark 1998 national survey of gambling behavior (N=2,417), comprised of a random-digit dial telephone survey and a supplemental in-person survey of gaming facility patrons (N=530). Both interviews included a diagnostic module for pathological gambling based on the DSM-IV.

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Updated 05/20/2006