Compulsive gambling is gaining recognition as a public health issue and a disorder similar to substance use disorders.
GAMBLING PREVALENCE RATES:
Research has estimated the number of U.S. citizens who gamble as well as the number who
experience pathological and sub-clinical pathological gambling.
• Gambling rates: Research has estimated that nearly 80% of U.S. population has gambled during his or her lifetime.
• Pathological and sub-clinical pathological gambling rates: Research has estimated that approximately one half of 1%(0.42 to 0.6%) of the U.S. population have experienced pathological gambling in their lifetime, and 0.9 to 2.3% have experienced sub-clinical pathological gambling in their lifetimes.
The Mass. Council recognizes that approximately 2-3% of the state's population has experienced disordered gambling in their lifetimes.
• Pathological and problem gambling in Massachusetts: Based on national estimates, between 85,000 and 185,000 Massachusetts residents likely have experienced disordered gambling during their lifetimes.
OTHER DISORDERS WITH PREVALENCE RATES SIMILAR TO DISORDERED GAMBLING:
The 2-3% lifetime prevalence rate estimate of disordered gambling is significant. Research has estimated the lifetime prevalence rates of other equally serious public health disorders. Listed below are some substance use and mental health disorders with rate estimates that are relatively close to the rate estimates of disordered gambling.