The Montreal Gazette published the results of a large-scale, provincially financed, independent academic study this week detailing the gambling habits of Quebecers. Results are based on 11,888 Quebecers during a period in 2009, with interviews lasting 12 minutes each.
Key findings of the report include:
Sylvia Kairouz, the Concordia University professor and director of the university's Lifestyle and Addiction Research Laboratory who co-led the study said "There is significantly higher spending by people who are gambling online, this is a fact." The study indicated that gamblers who do not wager online spend a far lower average of $527 annually.
Median annual spending by Internet gamblers - the mid-point, where half of those responding say they spend less and half report spending more - came to $856, in comparison the median for bettors who stayed completely away from Internet gambling sites was $128.
Quebec 's online bettors are largely unmarried males under age 44 and apparently have a much more pronounced penchant for puffing pot than other gamblers, the study indicated.
An estimated 86,000 adult Quebecers spend an average of $9,903 apiece each year gambling on the Internet. The average outlay approaching $10,000 is so dramatically higher than the median "because a few online gamblers are very big spenders, and this may distort the estimation”, said Kairouz.
About seven of every 10 Quebec adults gamble, at an annual average of $713 each. As with online gambling, the median or halfway point is a far lower $132.
The percentage of adult Quebecers at moderate risk of developing a gambling problem appears more or less stable, within statistical bounds of uncertainty, at some 81,000 or 1.3%. “Maybe there's been a slight increase" in that category from 2002 - "but it's not statistically significant for now," Kairouz goes on to say.
Close to another 41,000 Quebecers, or 0.7 per cent, she added, can be considered pathological gamblers. The 2002 study used a different methodology and put that proportion at a slightly higher 0.8 per cent, she noted.
Just over three of every five Internet gamblers, 60.5 per cent, play online poker, the study concluded, with online sports betting next at 14.7 per cent.
As part of a five-year, $500,000 study to run to 2014, with a follow-up survey planned for 2012, and this first report’s findings will be used to support recommendations for prevention and treatment of gambling problems.
Source: InfoPowa News