Gambling addicts in Iceland number in the thousands, and are increasing.
According to research conducted by the University of Iceland, some 4,000 to 7,000 people in Iceland between the ages of 18 and 70 – or about 2.5% of the population – suffer from gambling addiction, Vísir reports. Their numbers have increased between 2005 and 2007.
Dr. Daníel Þór Ólason, an associate professor of psychology who conducted the research for the Ministry of the Interior, showed that in the past 12 months, 76% of adult Icelanders have played some kind of monetary game of chance. The most popular ones were the lottery, raffles, scratch-off games, poker and slots.
More men than women had gambling addictions, the researched said, because environment played a role. Men were more likely to be poker players and bet on sports, for example, whereas women were more fond of raffles.
It was suggested that multiple routes be taken in dealing with gambling addiction. Different types of treatment should be made available, to show gambling addicts that the government takes the matter seriously. At the same time, regulations regarding gambling should be clarified, and there should be greater supervision of the industry.