Indigenous gambling and problem gambling in Canada
Authors: Robert J. Williams, Yale D. Belanger, Carrie A. Leonard, Rhys M. G. Stevens, Darren R. Christensen, Nady el-Guebaly, David C. Hodgins, and Daniel S. McGrath
The present study provides a profile of Canadian Indigenous gambling and problem gambling using the 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) (n-=-23,952 adults; 1,324 Indigenous) and an online panel survey of 10,199 gamblers (n-=-589 Indigenous). The relative popularity of different types of gambling was similar between Indigenous and non-Indigenous samples. However, there was higher Indigenous participation in electronic gambling machines (EGMs), bingo, instant lotteries, overall gambling and a higher rate of problem gambling (2.0% versus 0.5%). Variables predictive of Indigenous problem gambling were EGM participation, gambling fallacies, having a mental or substance use disorder, sports betting, and male gender. Compared to non-Indigenous problem gamblers, Indigenous problem gamblers had higher substance use and lower impulsivity. In general, variables predictive of Indigenous problem gambling were the same ones predictive of problem gambling in all populations, with elevated Indigenous problem gambling rates primarily being due to elevated rates of these generic risk factors. Many of these risk factors are modifiable. Particular consideration should be given to reducing the disproportionate concentration of EGMs in geographic areas having the highest concentration of Indigenous people and ameliorating the disadvantageous social conditions in this population that are conducive to mental health and substance use problems.
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