Client and clinician-rated characteristics of problem gamblers with and without history of gambling-related illegal behaviors

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Addictive Behaviors


Individuals with gambling disorder are at an elevated risk for engaging in gambling-related illegal behaviors. The present study examined client (N = 88) and clinician ratings (N = 30) of client characteristics associated with a history of gambling-related illegal behaviors. We also examined client characteristics associated with history of arrest for a gambling-related crime. Gambling-related illegal behaviors and arrest were common (57.3% and 23.9%, respectively) in the present sample. Clients of younger age, and those with greater gambling-related financial consequences, lifetime alcohol problems, impulsivity, mood symptoms, and daily living role difficulties were more likely to report gambling-related illegal behaviors. Clients who had been arrested for a gambling-related crime were more likely to report daily living and role functioning difficulties and lifetime alcohol problems. Clinicians rated clients with a history of gambling-related illegal behaviors and/or gambling-related arrests as more impulsive, and clinicians also endorsed higher rates of treatment failure among these clients. Both client and clinician report suggested that clients with a history of illegal behaviors may have a variety of comorbid problems that may be a focus of clinical intervention.

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