Gambling Problems and Military- and Health-Related Behaviour in UK Armed Forces Veterans

Elystan Roberts, Glen Dighton, Matt Fossey, Lee Hogan, Neil Kitchiner, Robert D. Rogers, Simon Dymond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Internationally, problem gambling is elevated in Armed Forces veterans compared to the general population. Here, we re-examined the prevalence of problem gambling in veterans and non-veterans residing in England using an established large dataset and investigated whether gambling was associated with length of service, common mental health disorders, substance abuse, or financial management history. Using the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 257 post-national service veterans and 514 age- and sex-matched controls were compared. Veterans had significantly higher rates of problem gambling than non-veterans. Male veterans were more likely than non-veterans to have experienced a traumatic event. The relationship between veteran status and problem gambling was not explained by differences in mental health conditions, substance abuse, or financial management. No differences were found for length of service. Further research is required with larger samples targeting problem gambling and Armed Forces experience in the United Kingdom population using contemporary diagnostic criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
JournalMilitary Behavioral Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from Forces in Mind Trust (FMiT16/0202S). The 2007 APMS was funded by the NHS Information Center for Health and Social Care for the Department of Health. Elystan Roberts is now at the University of Bristol.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Other keywords

  • Armed Forces
  • Gambling
  • mental health
  • post-national service
  • veteran


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