Preventing gambling harm has become a policy priority in many European countries. Adverse consequences related to problem gambling are well known, but few studies have analyzed gambling-related harm in detail in general population samples. We determined the extent and distribution of gambling harm in Finland, as assessed by the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), and analyzed gambling involvement, demographics and their association with various types of harm.
A nationwide telephone survey was conducted among 4484 Finns aged 15-74 years in 2011-12. Gambling-related harms were based on the nine-item PGSI. Gambling involvement was measured by gambling frequency and weekly average gambling expenditure. Associations among harms, demographics and gambling involvement were examined in logistic regression.
During the previous year, 13% of respondents experienced at least one gambling-related harm (males 18.1%, females 7.2%). The four commonest harms were 'chasing losses' (8.6%), 'escalating gambling to maintain excitement' (3.1%), 'betting more than could afford to lose' (2.8%), and 'feeling guilty' (2.6%). The harm profile in descending order was the same for both genders but differed in prevalence. Young age (