Swedish women are more likely to have gambling addictions than men

In Sweden, women are increasingly affected by gambling addictions -- to a higher degree than men -- so why are so few of them seeking or receiving professional help?

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Swedish women are more likely to have gambling addictions than men - NewsMavens
Gambling, Flickr

Why this story matters:

For the first time since 2008, when studies into the area began, women now make up the majority of problem gamblers in Sweden. But few female gamblers seek help, according to reports, and people working in the healthcare sector have said more needs to be done in order to identify and help at-risk women.

Even women who are in contact with the care sector, for example with drug or alcohol addiction problems, often hide their gambling problems and they may not fit the picture health professionals have of gambling addicts.

Speaking to Sveriges Radio, dependency therapists and professors outlined some of the possible reasons women gamblers often fall through the gaps, and suggested how this could be tackled, for example through women-only self-help groups. 

Details from the story:

  • Overall, the proportion of the population with a gambling problem fell from 6 percent to 4 percent between 2015 and 2018, but the proportion whose problems were so severe they were classed as 'addicted' grew by 50% over the same time period
  • 45,000 people in Sweden are currently classed as having a gambling addiction
  • Of the people considered to be gambling addicts, 63 percent are women, an increase from only 18 percent in 2015
  • The data comes from a survey by Sweden's public health agency, for which 5,000 people were questioned
  • One self-help group began in Malmö, southern Sweden in early May.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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