Military Veterans in the UK More Likely to Experience Problem Gambling, Says Study

A new study sought to investigate the social and economic costs of gambling among UK military veterans. The study, published by the British Medical Journal, found that veterans are nearly 11 times more likely to experience problem gambling than the general population.

British Medical Journal Reveals the Results of a New Study

A new study published earlier this week by the British Medical Journal suggests that military veterans are facing a higher risk of developing problem gambling when compared to the general population. One of the key purposes of the research was to investigate the social and economic costs of gambling within a large group of UK veterans. Before that study, the BMJ acknowledged that little was known regarding the costs of problem gambling among UK military veterans.

Gambling is a growing public health issue, with military veterans at heightened risk of harm,

reads the UK Armed Forces Veterans’ Health and Gambling Study

The UK Armed Forces Veterans’ Health and Gambling Study found that more than 40% of veterans experience problem gambling. Moreover, the paper said that veterans are nearly 11 times more likely to experience problem gambling. Overall, the study collected 5147 responses. From that total, 2535 were responses from veterans, while 2612 were the recorded responses from non-veterans. Researchers then applied quality control measures to narrow down the responses to 2185, representing 1037 responses from veterans and 1148 responses from non-veterans.

Veterans in the UK: More Likely to Experience Problem Gambling

Focusing on gambling, the study found that 43.1% of the veterans experienced problem gambling. Comparing that to the general population we see that only 6.5% experience problem gambling. In other words, veterans are 10.88 times more likely to experience problem gambling than the general population.

If we look at non-problem gambling, we see that 67% of non-veterans experienced that type of gambling. That value is slashed nearly in half when it comes to veterans, considering that only 37.7% of them experienced non-problem gambling.

Some 8.4% of the military veterans experience low-risk gambling. On the other hand, 15.3% of non-veterans experience low-risk gambling. When it comes to experiencing moderate-risk gambling, the non-veterans lead with 11.2%. From the veterans’ focus group we see that 10.8% have experienced moderate-risk gambling.

Other key findings of the whitepaper outline that veterans had higher healthcare, as well as social service and societal costs. Moreover, veterans had more contacts with criminal justice services, received more benefits but lost more work hours when compared to the general population. The study also found out that gambling increased those costs. Last but not least, the new report revealed that veterans who are experiencing problem gambling “are more costly” but do not suffer from “reduction in quality of life.”

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