April 8, 2010 Banff Centre
Noella Piquette-Tomei, Ph.D
University of Lethbridge
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
The team…..
Sonya Corbin Dwyer, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Corner Brook, Nfld
Noella Piquette-Tomei, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB.
Jennifer Buckle, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College: Corner Brook, Nfld
Fergus Hogan, Waterford Institute of Technology: Waterford, Ireland
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
The Agenda
9:00 - 9:15 “Female problem gamblers: Context and considerations” Dr. Noëlla Piquette-Tomei,
Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge
9:15 - 10:15 “Characteristics of Canadian female gamblers: A comparative overview and trends
specific to female problem gambling” Dr. Robert Williams, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of
Lethbridge & Dr. Robert Wood, Department of Sociology, University of Lethbridge
10:15 - 10:30 “A brief introduction to gambling interventions” Dr. David Hodgins, University of
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:15 “Strategies for locating research resources related to problem gambling” Mr. Rhys
Stevens, Library, University of Lethbridge
11:15 - 12:15 “In search of the neural correlates of gambling: evidence from human neuroimaging”
Dr. Matt Tata, Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge
12:15 - 1:15 Lunch [Sponsored by Institute Library]
1:15 - 2:15 Breakout workshop: Future planning and partnership.
Drs. Jennifer Buckle, Noella Piquette-Tomei & Fergus Hogan
2:15 - 2:30 Concluding remarks
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
The Audience
• Quick introduction
– Who are we talking with today?
– What is your interest in problem gambling and/or
specifically with women problem gamblers?
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Women Problem Gamblers
The context
• Fifteen million+ North Americans have
experienced a gambling problem
• Negative correlations have been established with
problem gambling and socioeconomic status,
employment, education levels and income
• Cultural differences have also been noted, with higher
rates of problem gambling among ethnic minorities
• Despite these findings, a general trend throughout the
literature is a pervasive and incorrect assumption that
problem gamblers are a homogeneous population
• This is particularly relevant when exploring the
similarities between gender and problem gambling.
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Women Problem Gamblers
The problem
• Despite the fact that gambling is not gender specific, the
majority of the research in Westernized culture has
focused on the situation of the American male gambler.
• The lack of current information is problematic as
research suggests that women and men gamble
differently and for different reasons, but large-scale
research evidence has not been sought.
• Moreover, there has been a tendency to generalize the
findings of this male-focused research to the female
population of gamblers
• The underlying problem then is, how much do we know
about women PG?
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Women Problem Gamblers
• Female PG have been found to have many different attributes
than male PG. A few brief non-encompassing points:
– Men were more likely to engage in strategic activities;
gambling on sporting events, the track, blackjack and cards
while women were more likely to gamble in social contexts
in games of chance (e.g., bingo, cards, slot machines)
– Women tend to have a low control capability over
gambling activities, hence women do not take into account
that luck versus skill or control is the determinant in their
gambling success
– The nonstrategic and less interpersonally interactive
gambling such as VLTs and slot machines that females tend
to gravitate toward are readily available in public domains
and are associated with higher levels of PG due to the
intermittent reinforcement
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Women Problem Gamblers
– Women tend to become emotionally involved with
gambling and the gambling activity, perhaps as a result of
the socialization or escape mechanisms inherent in the
– Women are more likely to be motivated to gamble seeking
emotional self-classification and escaping everyday
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Women Problem Gamblers
– Women are more likely to have comorbid issues
such as depression, negative self worth, past
physical and emotional abuse, etc.
– Women are more likely to be single and start
gambling significantly later in life than men
– Women in the most marginalized SES living in the
most marginalized regions are reported to have
issues with PG
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Women Problem Gamblers
– Women progress to PG faster than men
– NB: This has important implications not only for treatment,
but also for future research to determine the reasons why
women progress to problem gambling at a quicker pace.
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Back to the context
• Compared to other disorders and
addictions, research on gambling
treatment and prevention is still in
its infancy.
• While there is some controversy on what causes an
individual to develop an addiction most researchers appear
to agree that the cause is multi-factored, affected by a
combination of social and biological components.
• The lack of study on female PG is notable
• Serious questions must be raised and explored in order to
develop more efficient treatments for both male and
female PG, their families and society.
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Final Words
• What do we actually know about all areas of diversity within
the PG population?
• How can we go back to past research as a means to
understand who was in the n and what was actually found?
• How do we go forward and consider how to conduct research
to reflect gender and how that evidence can support
therapeutic interventions?
• What questions can be asked during
this upcoming conference? How are
women PG taken up in the research
findings, in the discussions and within
the context of societal implications?
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010
Moving Forward…
• Discussion – questions
• Return to agenda - presentations…
• Contact: [email protected]
• Apologies to the researchers who had their findings
synthesized sans citations – am happy to forward to any and
all who are interested
• All pictures from
Noella Piquette-Tomei: April 2010

behind the mask: a symposium on women`s problem gambling