National estimates of Australian gambling prevalence: f indings from a dual-frame omnibus survey

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Background, aims and designThe increase in mobile telephone-only households may be a source of bias for traditional landline gambling prevalence surveys. Aims were to: (1) identify Australian gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence using a dual-frame (50% landline and 50% mobile telephone) computer-assisted telephone interviewing methodology; (2) explore the predictors of sample frame and telephone status; and (3) explore the degree to which sample frame and telephone status moderate the relationships between respondent characteristics and problem gambling.Setting and participantsA total of 2000 adult respondents residing in Australia were interviewed from March to April 2013.MeasurementsParticipation in multiple gambling activities and Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI).FindingsEstimates were: gambling participation [63.9%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 61.4–66.3], problem gambling (0.4%, 95% CI = 0.2–0.8), moderate-risk gambling (1.9%, 95% CI = 1.3–2.6) and low-risk gambling (3.0%, 95% CI = 2.2–4.0). Relative to the landline frame, the mobile frame was more likely to gamble on horse/greyhound races [odds ratio (OR) = 1.4], casino table games (OR = 5.0), sporting events (OR = 2.2), private games (OR = 1.9) and the internet (OR = 6.5); less likely to gamble on lotteries (OR = 0.6); and more likely to gamble on five or more activities (OR = 2.4), display problem gambling (OR = 6.4) and endorse PGSI items (OR = 2.4-6.1). Only casino table gambling (OR = 2.9) and internet gambling (OR = 3.5) independently predicted mobile frame membership. Telephone status (landline frame versus mobile dual users and mobile-only users) displayed similar findings. Finally, sample frame and/or telephone status moderated the relationship between gender, relationship status, health and problem gambling (OR = 2.9–7.6).ConclusionGiven expected future increases in the mobile telephone-only population, best practice in population gambling research should use dual frame sampling methodologies (at least 50% landline and 50% mobile telephone) for telephone interviewing.

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