Study: More Compulsive Gamblers than Alcoholics

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A new study has found that there are more compulsive gamblers in the United States than alcoholics -- findings that fly in the face of all previous studies.

According to a report in the Las Vegas Sun the study from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions finds that up to 5% of adults are compulsive gamblers, and just 3% of Americans are alcoholics.

While previous studies agreed with the 5% gambling figure, they put the alcohol number at 10%.

Even the institute’s chief investigator, John Welte, was surprised by the results.

"I didn’t expect problem gambling to be more common than alcohol dependence for such a wide age range," he said.

The Sun writes:

Welte’s research found that the prevalence of alcohol problems peaks at a younger age and drops off significantly after age 21, a similar trend found elsewhere and possibly explained by the fact that young people tend to engage in risky behavior more than adults.

By contrast, the prevalence of gambling problems increases after 21, peaking at ages 31 through 40 and declining slowly until later adulthood, when it falls off significantly, the study found.

The study combined results from two national telephone polls conducted by the institute. With 5,000 people responding, it is one of the largest research projects of its kind.

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