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Minerva Forensic Medicine 2021 June-September;141(2-3):29-41

DOI: 10.23736/S2784-8922.21.01805-7


language: English

Gambling prevalence in Italy: main findings on epidemiological study in the Italian population aged 18 and over

Adele MINUTILLO 1 , Luisa MASTROBATTISTA 1, Simona PICHINI 1, Roberta PACIFICI 1, Bruno GENETTI 2, Paolo VIAN 2, Alessandra ANDREOTTI 2, Claudia MORTALI 1

1 National Center on Addiction and Doping, Italian National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy; 2 Explora Center for Research and Statistical Analysis, Vigodarzere, Padua, Italy

BACKGROUND: For most people, gambling is a harmless activity, but for some it can be addictive with negative consequences. In Italy, there is no estimate of the prevalence of this phenomenon on large samples of the adult population
METHODS: The purpose of this epidemiological study (N.=12,061) was to estimate the prevalence and to describe the Italian gamblers characteristics. Data were collected from adult aged 18 and over, between late 2017 and early 2018 with a response rate of 51.2%. The presence of problem gambling was assessed with the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Information on socio-economic and demographic characteristics as well as lifestyle, individual traits, gambling motivation, gambling behaviour characteristics was collected.
RESULTS: Findings indicated that 36.4% Italians gambled at least once in the year before the survey, 3% met criteria for problem gambling, 4.1% for low risk gambling and 2.8% for moderate risk gambling. A percentage of 3.5% were problem gamblers in the 50-64 age group while 3.4% in the 40-49 and 3.3% in the 25-39 age group. Geographical area (e.g., living in North-West or North-East or Center or South or Italian Islands), living with family of origin, unhealthy lifestyle (e.g., smoking, alcohol consumption), gaming, time devoted to gambling, variables related to the relational context, economic situation of the last 12 months and downloading gaming applications were risk factors for problem gambling.
CONCLUSIONS: The spread of problematic gambling-related behaviors is a worrying phenomenon, which must be studied in order to design and implement effective prevention interventions.

KEY WORDS: Behavior, addictive; Gambling; Epidemiology; Mental health

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