ALMOST 4 per cent of men over 16 in the Isle of Man are at risk of developing a gambling problem, a survey shows.
The Gambling Prevalence Survey, a first for the Isle of Man, has been published by GamCare Isle of Man, in conjunction with the National Centre for Social Research and in association with the Department of Health’s Mental Health Service and the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
Of the 4,000 surveys sent out to random addresses, 1,942 were filled in and returned.
Results were weighted to provide information on the general population as well as the respondents.
Using the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistics Manual - IV (DSM-IV) as a measure, the survey showed 3.9 per cent of men and 1.9 per cent of women over the age of 16 in the Isle of Man were in the at risk category for problem gambling (scoring either 1 or 2 on the DSM-IV scale).
It also revealed 0.2 per cent of men and 0.1 per cent of women presented a score of above five, putting them in the pathological gambler category.
Those unemployed and unable to work due to long-term disability were most likely to score on the DSM-IV scale with 7.8 per cent scoring one and 2.5 per cent scoring two, putting them in the ‘at risk’ category.
Overall, 78 per cent of the population had gambled in the previous 12 months and the most popular gambling activity was the National Lottery Draw, with 69 per cent of respondents buying a ticket in the past 12 months.
This was 10 per cent more than the same observed behaviour in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010.
After the National Lottery Draw, the next most popular gambling activities in the Isle of Man were scratchcards (32 per cent), other lotteries (19 per cent) and horse racing (15 per cent).
Apart from the top four activities, the gambling activity men most participated in was private betting (16 per cent). For women, that was bingo (12 per cent).
Men and women aged 25 to 34 were most likely to have gambled in the last 12 months.
The results were presented to the public at Keyll Darree Education Centre, Braddan, on Thursday evening.
GamCare Isle of Man hopes the study will help steer the development of this new gambling support service.
Anyone who would like to discuss their own or someone else’s gambling can contact GamCare Isle of Man in confidence on 622011 or email gamcareisleofman(at)iom.com.