An investigation into the comorbidity of harmful drinking and gambling behaviour in a general population

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There is well-documented evidence in both alcohol and gambling behaviours of the potential for dependency with an increasing evidence base of research exploring the comorbidity of pathological alcohol consumption and gambling behaviours.

Many experts see both behaviours as on continuums, with occasional social use at one end and dependency as characterised by compulsion and loss of control at the other.

There are potentially both qualitative and quantitative differences between gambling disorder at the dependent harm of the continuum and gambling related harm in non-dependent gamblers. Broadening the base of what constitutes 'harm' or 'potential harm' will facilitate more accurate identification of trends with both risk behaviours.

This research set out to explore alcohol and gambling behaviours in a more general population. 263 adults drawn from the population of residents in Wales completed an online survey.

The findings from the general population mirrored the findings from the student population with both drinking and gambling behaviour higher than the population norms. The findings demonstrate strong relationships and influences between the key variables measured. Individuals who drink more frequently and consume more alcohol also gamble more often and have less control over their gambling. Women drink and gamble at lower levels than men generally but are more likely to drink and gamble concurrently than men.

Further research should include in-depth investigation of the role of negative reinforces and dysfunctional coping in drinking and gambling behaviour and explore gender differences in concurrent drinking and gambling behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAlcohol Concern
Commissioning bodyAlcohol Concern Cymru
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2018


  • Gambling
  • alcohol
  • behaviours
  • dependency
  • harm
  • potential harm
  • Wales


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