TVRGC: Tracking
Vulnerability & Resilience in
Gambling Crime Careers
[email protected]
[email protected]
Public Health Approach
to reducing problem gambling and crime
Targeting populations at risk
Based on evidence and epidemiology
Policy Context:
Gambling Act – protecting the
vulnerable, prisoner mental health,
crime reduction
Global Review (Williams et al, 2005)
1/3 of criminal offenders meet criteria for problem or
pathological gambling. This is the highest rate yet found in any
population (in UK this would be 26000 men).
The prevalence of gambling within prisons (40%) appears
lower than in the general population.
Inmates who do gamble tend to do so regularly, and problem
and pathological gamblers are disproportionately represented
among this group.
Screening and provision of specialized help are currently
lacking in most correctional facilities
Partnership: Lancaster and Glasgow
Funded by RGF/ESRC
36 month screening and follow up
study (longitudinal)
6 prisons – England/Scotland,
Male/Female, North/South
Problem Gambling Severity
Bet more than can afford to loose
A need to gambling with increasing amounts of money
Chasing losses
Borrowed money or sold items to get money to gamble
Felt had a problem with gambling
Gambling causing health problems including stress and
People criticising gambling behaviour
Gambling causing financial problems for you or your
Felt guilty about way that you gamble or what happens when
you gamble
3 Gambling Groups (PGSI category)
Non problem and low risk (0-2)
Moderate risk and problem (3+)
(Problem gambler 8+)
Abstainers (those who haven’t gambled
in 12 months before prison)
Prevalence questionnaire in 6 prisons
Group 1:
problem gamblers
– 9 in each prison
Group 2: Non
problem/low risk
gamblers – 9 in
each prison
Group 3:
Abstainers – 9
in each prison
First interview pre-release: 1 – 2 months after questionnaire
completion. In-depth (approx 1 hour) gathering personal history,
gambling career data
Second interview: 6-8 months later in community. In depth
(approx 1 hour) probing gambling careers and resilience factors
since leaving prison
Third interview: 6-8 months later in community. In depth
(approx 1 hour) continuing to probe gambling careers and
resilience factors since leaving prison
careers of
all on
Looking at Resilience
Family support
Social networks
Self esteem
Problem solving
International Resilience Project
Looking at co-morbidity
Drug use
Alcohol use
Links to gambling
Links to crime
Links to resilience
OffGam Pilot
Wave 1 Findings (N=201)
Averaging a 64% response rate
52% knew of at least one other person in
prison with a gambling problem
26.4% knew of at least five other people
5.4% consider their current offence was linked
to gambling
12% linked gambling to past offending (21% of
Problem Gambling Prevalence in
Prison (Pilot)
Not gambled 12 mths prior
Gambled with no problem
Low Risk (1-2 PGSI)
Moderate Risk (3-7 PGSI)
Problem Gambler (8+ PGSI)
13% (27) of total (a quarter of all gamblers)
volunteered for treatment
Key Contacts England
Research Officer: Allie Wilson at Lancaster
[email protected] (01524 594095)
Co-ordinator: Corinne May-Chahal
[email protected] (01524
A useful reference: Williams et al, 2005, Gambling
and Problem Gambling Within Forensic Populations: A
Review of the Literature, Criminal Justice and Behavior, 32
pp 665-689

Tracking Vulnerability & Resilience in Gambling Crime Careers