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Table of Contents
Contents (continued ...)
Executive Summary
	Overview and major conclusions
	The literature review
		Defining problem gambling
Conceptualising problem gambling
A. Medical disorder/mental health approach
B. Gambling and problem gambling as an economic activity
C. Gambling and problem gambling as a continuum
D. Problem gambling defined in terms of harm
Socio-cultural aspects of problem gambling
Defining harm
Harm minimisation, harm reduction and responsible gambling
Measurement of problem gambling
	The purposes of assessment
		Characteristics of effective measures
		Review of measures
			DSM classification
	Severity of Gambling Consequences
				The Victorian Gambling Screen (VGS)
			Other problem gambling instruments
	Literature review of usage patterns
Feedback on material developed in the literature review
	2. Screens and instruments
	Feedback from Victoria
		Feedback from South Australia
			Views from New South Wales
	Views from Queensland
		Call for Comments
			Definitions of problem gambling and gambling-related harm
				Measures of problem gambling
	For service providers / counsellors and other practical user
	2. Defining gambling
	3.2 Gambling and problem gambling characterised as an econom
	3.3 Gambling as a continuum
	3.4 Problem gambling defined in terms of harm to the individ
	3.5 Problem gambling as a social construct
		4. Sociocultural aspects of problem gambling
	4.1 Demographic profiles of problem gamblers
	4.2 Attitudes to gambling and problem gambling among Indigen
		5. Gambling related harms
	5.1 Defining harm?
	5.2 Harms
	5.3 Harm minimisation
	5.4 Harm as a community health issue
	5.5 Responsible gambling and harm minimisation
	6.1 Queensland
	6.2 New South Wales
	6.3 South Australia
	6.4 Victoria
	6.5 Tasmania
	6.6 Australian Capital Territory
		Examples of signs that a person has gambling problem
	6.7 Northern Territory
		The schematic links between theory and practice
	Table 7.1
		Recently cited purposes for gambling assessment methods
Table 7.2
	7.4 Characteristics of effective assessment methods
		Table 7.3
			DSM-III classification (1980)
		Evaluation of the DSM-IV criteria
Table 7.6
	Severity of Gambling Consequences
Table 7.7
	Table 7.8
Table 7.9
Table 7.11
Table 7.13
	Summary assessment of the CPGI
		Evaluation of the GA-20
		Evaluation of the ASI-G
		Obsession /Compulsion Rating scale
		Evaluation of the Gambling Urge Scale
		Evaluation of the CSM
		Evaluation of the G-Map
			Cut-off score = 10
		Evaluation of the Gambling Behaviour Interview
	Table 7.20
	Table 7.21
	Table 7.22
		Principal measure(s) used
	Table 7.23
		Measure in relation to academic area
	Table 7.24
		Measure in relation to country
	Table 7.25
		Measure in relation to sample type
	8. Feedback on material developed in the literature review
8.2 Industry responses
	Key points
	8.3 Government/public policy-makers
	Key points
	8.4 Researchers
	Key points
	8.6 Comments on socio-cultural aspects
	8.7 Screens and instruments
	8.7.1 Feedback from Victoria
	Key points
8.7.2 Feedback from South Australia
	Key points
		Key points
		Key points
		Key points
		Key points
	8.8 Summary
	Table 8.1
		Predominant screens/instruments in use by State
9.2.2 Specific demographic groups
	Table 9.1
	9.4 Gambling screens and instruments: Conclusion
		United States
			United States (continued)
			United States (continued)
				Canada (continued)
				Australia and New Zealand
	Government/policy-maker responses
	Service Providers
Document Text Contents
Page 1


The Ministerial Council on Gambling is comprised of the Ministers responsible for gambling in each
State and Territory Government and the Australian Government. The objective of the Council is to
minimise the adverse consequences of problem gambling via the exchange of information on
responsible gambling measures and by acting as a forum for discussion and facilitation of the
development of an effective interventions framework.

The Ministerial Council on Gambling established Gambling Research Australia, (formerly known as
the National Gambling Research Working Party) to administer its research program. The Secretariat
is provided by the Office of Gaming and Racing, Department of Justice, Victoria. Further information
about the national research program may be obtained from:

The first research project to be commissioned by Gambling Research Australia - Problem Gambling
and Harm: Towards A National Definition - was undertaken by the South Australian Centre for
Economic Studies jointly with the Department of Psychology, University of Adelaide. The research
project sought expert advice about definitions of problem gambling that best suit the ongoing research
program and that could assist jurisdictions in making policy decisions.

This project has been funded as part of the Research Program of the Ministerial Council on Gambling.

Acknowledgement of jurisdictional funding to the Research Program:

Australian Capital Territory: ACT Government through the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission

Australian Government: The Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services

New South Wales: NSW Government through the Casino Community Benefit Fund

Northern Territory: Northern Territory Government through the Community Benefit Fund

Queensland: Queensland Treasury

South Australia: Government of South Australia

Tasmania: Tasmanian Government through the Community Support Levy

Victoria: Victorian Government through the Community Support Fund

Western Australia: Government of Western Australia through the Gaming Community trust

NGRWP Secretariat

Telephone: 03 9651 4945
Facsimile: 03 9651 7800

© Copyright State of Victoria, Department of Justice 2005

This publication is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with
the provisions of the Copyright Act 1969.

Also published on

Printed by DPA Document Printing Australia Pty Ltd, 332-342 Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne 3207.

Page 2

Problem Gambling and Harm:
Towards a National Definition

Commissioned for:

The Ministerial Council on Gambling

Prepared by:
The SA Centre for Economic Studies

with the

Department of Psychology, University of Adelaide

Funded by the Australian Government and the State and Territory Governments

Published on behalf of Gambling Research Australia
by the Office of Gaming and Racing

Victorian Government Department of Justice
Melbourne Victoria Australia

November 2005

ABN:0 975119 4 1

Page 97

Problem Gambling and Harm: Towards a National Definition Page 73

Table 7.7

Summary assessment of the DSM-IV and derived measures

Dimension Comments

Reliability Generally very good. Acceptable Alpha and test-rest reliability

Construct validity Appears to be bi-dimensional: Dimension 1: Pathological
behaviours: Dimension 2: Consequences of gambling

Strong emphasis on pathology / addiction model of pathological

Classification accuracy Generally very good, but imposes stricter criteria than most other
measures. Has lower sensitivity and higher specificity. Tends to give
rise to more false negatives

Appropriate validation sampling Not been sufficiently tested in comparisons of regular problem and
non-problem gamblers

Dimensionality Coherent, but appears to have 2 dimensions

External / Criterion validation Good. Correlates with other measures of gambling-related harm

Concurrent validity Highly correlated with other measures of problem gambling,
including the SOGS

Item variability Problematic. The base-rate of consequence items is too low, whereas
the rates for some behavioural items may be too high.

Practicality Best version is the 10-item scale developed in Canada (Stinchfield,
Govoni and Frisch, 2001). NODS version not recommended until
further validation is undertaken

Applicability Not very useful in prevalence surveys
Best used to validate the results of other screening measures
Useful in clinical diagnosis, but may not allow sufficient variability

to assess therapeutic change
Consequence items may be biased towards higher SES groups or

male gamblers

Comparability Some comparative prevalence data available, but less widely used
than the SOGS and in more varying forms (see below)

7.5.2 South Oaks Gambling Screen

The South Oaks Gambling Screen (or SOGS) was based on DSM-III-R criteria and developed
as a screening tool for patients admitted to a New York psychiatric hospital (Lesieur and
Blume, 1987) to test for symptoms of pathological gambling. Items for the new measure
were developed by administering a very large number of items to 867 patients and then
conducting clinical and “significant other” interviews. Individuals were then classified as
pathological and non-pathological gamblers. Any items that appeared too similar or which
produced very high or low levels of responding were omitted leaving a final list of 20
questions. Using this list, it was found that a score of 5 best discriminated between those who
did and those who did not have a problem (this was presumably based on the score that
minimized the number of classification errors). The shortened list was then administered to a
number of validation samples. In the first phase of validation, 297 inpatients were
administered the SOGS and subjected to independent assessment by a counsellor. The SOGS
identified 13% of people as pathological gamblers compared with a figure of 12% for the
independent counsellor assessments. In the second phase, 213 Gamblers Anonymous (G.A.)
members, 384 students and 152 hospital employees were administered the SOGS and the
DSM-III-R criteria in a pencil and paper format. Ninety-eight percent of GA members were
classified as problem gamblers compared with only 5% of students and 1.3% of hospital

Page 192

Page 168 Problem Gambling and Harm: Towards a National Definit ion

Attendees at focus groups

Victorian Gambler’s Help counsellors, Melbourne, November 2004

Eddie Chapman
Council of Gambler’s Help Services

Bernie Durkin
Gambler’s Help Eastern

Shirley Gill
Healthlink Turning Point

Chris Klitzing
Goulburn Valley Community Health Services

Lynda Memery
Gambler’s Help (City)

Bronwyn Moore
Gambler’s Help Laddon

Julie Nelson
Gambler’s Help Northern

Kathy Ryan
Bethany Community Support

Namita Trensky
Grampians Gambler’s Help
Relationships Australia

Break Even counsellors, Adelaide, November 2004

Lola Aviles
Project Officer
P.E.A.C.E. Project
Relationships Australia

Andrea Brebner
UnitingCare Wesley, Bowden

Mark Henley
UnitingCare Wesley, Adelaide

Christine Nancarrow
UnitingCare Wesley, Adelaide University, Australia

Jane Oakes
Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park

Garry Raymond

Break Even, Salvation Army

Page 193

Problem Gambling and Harm: Towards a National Definition Page 169

Multicultural focus group for service providers and counsellors for CALD
communities, Adelaide, November 2004
Vivien Hope
Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia

Enaam Oudih
Manager, P.E.A.C.E. Multicultural Services
Relationships Australia

Saury Ouk
Cambodian Association Inc.

Tarik Skalea
Bosnia and Herzegovina Muslim Society of SA

Velda Tsoutas
P.E.A.C.E. Project
Gambling Community Educator
Greek Community

Nga Vu
Vietnamese Community in SA

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