Problem and compulsive gambling affects 3.9% of the general population (NCRG, 2009), yet males and females are not affected at the same rates. Recent prevalence studies have found significant gender differences with 5.3% of males and 2% of females affected by gambling disorders (Volberg, Nysse-Carris, & Gerstein, 2006). Gender differences have also 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 Help Line in the State of Illinois. Data reveals insightful similarities and striking differences between the genders of callers who gamble.
Calls are answered by Bensinger, DuPont & Associates’ (BDA) masters degreed counselors trained in problem gambling issues. The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) is one of the funding sources of the help line. The Problem Gambling Treatment Program of the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA) was designed to assist the state in understanding the nature, scope and impact of problem gambling in Illinois, while also providing treatment avenues for addressing problem gambling. Presently, IDHS/DASA provides gambling treatment services within the state of Illinois through 15 treatment providers. Located in Chicago, surrounding suburbs, the southwest area of the state as well as the far southern area of the state, IDHS/DASA and its provider network are committed to serving individuals and their families affected by problem or pathological gambling by providing a clinical environment for the purpose of assessing and treating the individual and their family. The Illinois help line is also funded by the Illinois Department of Lottery, and the Illinois Casino Gaming Association fund this help line.
The Illinois Problem Gambling Help Line provides immediate assistance for callers affected by problem gambling. Referrals are provided to DHS treatment providers, certified problem gambling counselors, and Gamblers Anonymous meetings throughout the state. These providers offer outpatient counseling, case management, and early intervention services to individuals with problem or disordered gambling. Treatment addresses coping skills training, financial planning & restitution, making amends, family counseling and relapse prevention.
Bensinger, DuPont & Associates currently provides problem gambling helpline services for ten states. BDA began providing problem gambling helpline services in 1996. Today, BDA is one of the largest providers of problem gambling services, including 24/7 helplines, customized problem gambling case management, training and policy development. Our commitment to customer service, clinical interaction and development of diverse offerings designed to assist problem gamblers and their families, ensure an individualized experience for our customers.