Exploring the relationship between problem gambling and homelessness: becoming and being homeless
Holdsworth, L, Tiyce, M & Hing, N 2012, 'Exploring the relationship between problem gambling and homelessness: becoming and being homeless', Gambling Research: Journal of the National Association for Gambling Studies (Australia), vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 39-54.
Homelessness and problem gambling are serious social issues in Australia and elsewhere. While a growing body of research has separately explored these issues there has been little research examining the relationship between homelessness and gambling, even though anecdotally service providers have noted a strong association between these issues. This paper explores the relationship between gambling and homelessness with reference to a qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with 17 service clients and 18 service providers. Findings suggest that gambling involvement may be a factor in becoming homeless through its negative impacts on financial resources, relationships and support networks. Gambling may also be a way of easing the conditions of being homeless by providing hope of financial gain, social connectedness and escape from stress. A better understanding of the role gambling plays in becoming and being homeless may assist service providers, governments and communities to develop more effective prevention, intervention and management strategies.