An investigation into the comorbidity of harmful drinking and gambling behaviour

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


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 nondependent 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 investigate the prevalence and patterns of alcohol use and gambling behaviour in a population of students and recent graduates of Welsh Universities.

Results suggest that both drinking and gambling behaviour are higher than the population norms in this current and former student sample. 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, have less control over their gambling behaviour and lose more money in the process. Women drink and gamble at lower levels than men, but are still exhibiting potential harm.

The next stage of this research will include a more in-depth investigation of actual gambling behaviours, including the exponentially increasing online opportunities; and further exploration of the issue of lone drinking and gambling, particularly in relation to women in age groups being identified as at risk of harmful gambling, and of alcohol-related harm.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAlcohol Concern
Commissioning bodyAlcohol Concern
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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