Problem gambling can be averted
Genetic factors, an individual’s psychological situation at different life stages, the social environment and the structural nature of gaming provision all determine the extent to which people become problem gamblers.
Society can play a role in influencing the last two of these factors, according to Professor Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University, UK, addressing a group of Finnish experts at the end of April. Griffiths was invited by the ministry to present his views as part of an effort to stimulate debate on how to reduce compulsive gambling and its attendant harm.
He said that the social environment influences gambling habits depending on how permissive it is about gambling and how easily gaming is available.
Gambling is comparatively high among Finns, who have more ready access to gaming than in many countries. There are reckoned to be about 20,000 problem gamblers in Finland.