This week the Montreal Gazette reported the results of a provincially financed, independent academic study results based on 11,888 Quebecers during a period in 2009. The theme of the study covered the gambling habits of Quebecers, and each of the conducted interviews lasted for 12 minutes.
The report resulted in the following key findings:
A Concordia University professor Sylvia Kairouz, who co-led the study and also occupies the position of a director of the university's Lifestyle and Addiction Research Laboratory, stated that "There is significantly higher spending by people who are gambling online, this is a fact." The study proved that those who don’t gamble online spend significantly less - $527 on average per annum.
A medium point of Internet gamblers’ spending, where half of examinees state they spend less and half say they’re spending more, was at $856, whereas the median for players who didn’t play on the Internet at all was $128.
As per the demographics of Quebec's online bettors, most of them are unmarried males below 44 years of age. It seems like they have a much higher penchant for puffing pot than other gamblers.
The study also showed that about 86,000 adult Quebecers spend in average $9,903 each on Internet gambling every year. According to Kairouz, the reason why this number is so much higher than the median is "because a few online gamblers are very big spenders, and this may distort the estimation.” In addition, it was estimated that seven out of 10 Quebec adults gamble, spending $713 each in average per year, while in case of online gamblingthe median is a much lower - $132.
In regards to the percentage of adult Quebecers who run a moderate risk of gambling problem occurrence, it seems stable so far, amounting to some 81,000 or 1.3 percent within statistical bounds of uncertainty. In this case, Kairouz explained that “Maybe there's been a slight increase" in that category from 2002 -"but it's not statistically significant for now."
In addition, she stated that about another 41,000 Quebecers, or 0.7 per cent, can be said to be pathological gamblers. This is slightly lower in comparison with the 2002 study, which used a different methodology, putting that figure at 0.8 per cent.
Another interesting data acquired by the study is that just over three of every five Internet gamblers (60.5 percent) play online poker, while online sports betting comes next at 14.7 per cent.
This first report’s results will be exploited as a part of a five-year, $500,000 study which will be conducted to 2014, with a follow-up survey scheduled for 2012, to serve as a support to gambling problem prevention and treatment recommendations.
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