Impact of a Casino Opening on Gambling Behaviors of People Engaged in Methadone Maintenance

Jessica Palmer-Bacon, Haley Miles-McLean, Christopher Welsh, Loreen Rugle, Deborah Medoff, Wendy Potts, Seth Himelhoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study examined gambling behavior in the context of a newly opening casino, comparing disordered gamblers to non-disordered gamblers, in a population of individuals involved in methadone maintenance treatment. Disordered gamblers (N = 50) and non-disordered gamblers (N = 50) were surveyed before and after the opening of a new casino on gambling behaviors, substance use, and psychological symptoms. No statistically significant changes in gambling behaviors were observed for disordered gamblers or non-disordered gamblers across time points; however, non-disordered gamblers demonstrated non-significant increases in horse and dog race betting, electronic games, and casino table games. As expected, disordered gamblers were found to spend significantly more money on electronic games and casino table games (p < 0.05) and demonstrated higher rates of drug use and impulsivity than non-disordered gamblers. The introduction of a new casino did not appear to have a major impact on gambling behaviors of individuals attending methadone maintenance treatment, though the non-significant increases in gambling among non-disordered gamblers may indicate that this population is preferentially impacted by the opening of a new casino. Future investigation into the longer term effects of opening a new casino on this population may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-472
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Casino opening
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version 5
  • Gambling behaviors
  • Gambling disorder
  • Methadone maintenance treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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