Problem and compulsive gambling affects 3.9% of the general population (NCRG, 2009), yet males and females are not affected at the same rates. Gender differences have been found in the age of onset of gambling in males and females (Exheburua, Gonzalez-Ortega, de Corral, & Polo-Lopez, 2011). Males start gambling at a younger age, yet once females begin gambling later in life they typically gamble at about the same rates (Welte, Barnes, Tidwell, & Hoffman, 2011). When working with addicted populations, understanding these gender differences has been shown to be beneficial in providing gender specific treatment and intervention (Greenfield, Back, Lawson, & Brady, 2010).
The purpose of this document is to share key findings on the gender differences of gamblers calling 800-GAMBLER Problem Gambling Helpline in the State of Illinois. Data reveals insightful similarities and striking differences between the genders of callers who gamble.