German Problem Gambling Drops, and Other Jurisdictions in Europe Should Take NotePublished September 29, 2017 by Lee R
Identifying problem gamblers has different challenges in different countries.
In Germany, good news from new research indicates a decline in problem gambling rates.
New Addiction Report
The figures were released on Monday in an intoxication report called the Drug and Addiction Report 2017 that also included a section on problem gambling.
The data sample was 11,500 survey respondents who participated in 2015, with 37.3% of those surveyed indicating participation in at least one form of gambling in the previous twelve months. The figure represented a 2.9% drop-off from the 40.2% figure collected in the previous report in 2013, and a more substantial decline of 55% of respondents in a similar survey for 2007.
Those respondents who had gambled were asked further yes or no questions to meet the researcher’s defined qualifications for categorisation as “problem gamblers.” The further breakdown in the study filtered the respondents into identified gamblers, of which .42% of measured participants qualified, and 0.37% grouped as more severe pathological casino players.
Statistical Trend Downward
These figures are encouraging, because they represent drops in both categories. The 2013 survey showed .82% decline for problem gamblers and .69% for pathological gamblers, which also by the way represented a spike in problem gambling which otherwise had been on the decline already.
At first glance, the general trend in Germany stands as superior to another large European region economy--England, where problem gambling is rising slightly according to the report.
The English Comparison
England is an interesting comparison because it along with Germany comprises the Top 2 economies in Europe, in terms of volume. Further, England is a country and culture which stigmatizes gambling the least in the world, though it is known for stigmatizing more people who publicly admit to personal problems and compulsions.
Learning from the Data
In other words, an increase in problem gambling rates in England might be a good thing, indicating social progress in protecting vulnerable people from gambling in the same way that a behavioural reduction in problem gambling reflect positively on social programming in place in Germany now. In Germany, the early programs protecting identified problem gamblers are working, while in England, the target population for those effective interventions grows.