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August 19 , 2009

Betting Their Lives

The Close Relations of Problem Gamblers


There are now more ways than ever to gamble-casinos, corner stores, the internet-and as a result, there are also ever more "problem gamblers," individuals who gamble compulsively to their own detriment. While gambling is promoted as fun and glamorous, the reality is usually very different. Studies suggest that some 1 in 50 adults, or roughly 480,000 Canadians, have a gambling problem. So it is time to take a new and careful look at how gambling affects the lives of all these people.Problem gambling has traditionally been seen as an individual issue: it's your problem, you deal with it. But this new book, the only study of its kind, takes an innovative sociological approach, considering problem gambling as a public health issue (it has social causes and significant health outcomes). Betting Their Lives is based on first-hand interviews that take us right into the lives of a selection of problem gamblers; we see how gambling is influenced by, and in turn influences, relationships with intimate partners - husbands, wives, children. Based on important new research by outstanding Canadian sociologist Lorne Tepperman, this book looks into the personal relationships of problem gamblers, and comes out with some surprising results. It provides a superb discussion of expert opinion on the subject, includes first-hand narratives of those who have suffered from gambling addictions, and brings essential new explanatory concepts to the issue.While more research is required into this growing problem, Betting Their Lives introduces a new and urgently needed understanding of problem gambling.
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