A new study has revealed that government lotteries and matka remain the most popular forms of gambling among Goa’s adult male players.
According to the study, which was published in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry’s latest edition, an illegal daily raffle called matka and Government lotteries were even more popular among male gamblers in Goa than casinos. In addition, the study has also established a link between players’ addiction to matka and tobacco and alcohol use disorders.
The study called “The prevalence, patterns, and correlates of gambling behaviors in men: an exploratory study from Goa, India” was carried out by a team of specialists who work at the NGO Sangath, which is based in Goa and specializes in mental health and developmental problems and disabilities. The newest research is based on a survey held among 658 adult male respondents and revealed that 49.9% of the participants have been engaged in gambling activities, while one-third confessed that they have been involved in several forms of gambling.
As mentioned above, the study also found links between compulsive gambling habits and interpersonal violence and work-related problems. The main objective of the research was to examine the prevalence, patterns and possible relation of gambling behaviors in men in a community sample.
One-Third of Respondents Being Engaged in Several Forms of Gambling
The research has revealed that almost half of the participants (49.9%) confirmed to have been involved in gambling activities at least once in their lives. Also, 45.4% of the survey respondents said that they have gambled over the past 12 months, while one-third of those who gamble, being engaged in several forms of gambling.
The team of mental health specialists who conducted the research – Sanju George, Urvita Bhatia, Abhijit Nadkarni and Bharga Bhat – further explained that both lifetime and current gambling has been associated with problems at work, tobacco and alcohol use disorders, interpersonal violence. In addition, the four of them found that current gambling is associated with rural residence.
The results of the study are relevant to Goa, considering the long-time debate over the possible harm that could be inflicted by gambling to the state and its residents. For the time being, there are seven off-shore and around ten onshore casinos in the coastal state. Interestingly, in spite of the steady increase in the number of casinos across the state, Goan gamblers prefer to bet on state-run lotteries and matka, a form of a raffle which is currently illegal in the state.
As revealed by the study authors, the most common form of gambling among Goa players was the lottery, with 67.8% of the respondents having taken part in lottery draws. On the other hand, matka was the gambling activity with the highest frequency, as 39.5% of the participants being engaged in the activity no less than once to thrice on a weekly basis. Only 1.1% of the overall 724 respondents have gambled in a casino.