Links Between Casino Proximity and Gambling Participation, Expenditure, and Pathology

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Two studies investigated the relationship between casino proximity and gambling participation, expenditure, and pathology. In Study 1, 8,842 participants were categorized into 1 of 4 driving distances from their home to the nearest casino in the province of Quebec: 0-100 km, 100.01-200 km, 200.01-300 km, or 300.01-981 km. In Study 2, 5,158 participants, who lived within a 100-km driving distance from the Montreal casino, were classified into 1 of 5 equidistant, 20-km driving distances. A survey company interviewed participants regarding their gambling habits. Results indicated a positive link between casino proximity and gambling participation (at the provincial and Montreal levels) and expenditure (at the provincial level only) but no link with the current prevalence rate of probable pathological gambling or of problem gambling. In a setting in which many types of gambling activities are available, casino proximity in itself does not appear to explain the rate of gambling-related problems. It is necessary to continue prospective research on exposure and adaptation theories as potential explanations for the development of pathological gambling.

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