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50 years on, UK betting shops lure new breed of punters
Date:5/8/2011

betting machines."

Betting machines are particularly risky in terms of problem gambling because of the enormous speed with which they take gamblers' money. "Compared with some forms of gambling such as horse races or even casino table games, betting machine games are extremely quick, the stakes are high and the losses can very quickly become higher," Professor Reith explains.

Findings from Professor Reith's earlier research shed light on the causes and paths of people's gambling behaviours. Individuals, her research shows, are not born gamblers but rather become gamblers (and problem gamblers) through complex processes of social interaction with their environment. Gambling as a behaviour whether problem or not fluctuates over the life course, sometimes to quite a high degree. Hence, 'problem gamblers' are not a discrete group. Rather, gamblers can move in and out of 'problem gambling' during their lives.

Understanding this dynamic, researchers suggest, is key to identifying effective interventions, and informing policy so that the harms associated with gambling remain at a minimum.


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