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May 31, 2017

New Jersey has a gambling problem, a serious one. According to a new study from Rutgers-New Brunswick, nearly 70 percent of New Jerseyans gambled last year — either at casinos, racetracks, and other land-based venues (75 percent) or online (5 percent) or both (20 percent). The trouble cropped up when the study took a closer look at behavior patterns: the rate of gambling disorder in the total sample was slightly above 6 percent, about three times higher than the average rate in other population samples. And nearly 15 percent of those who participated reported gambling problems, which is also nearly three times higher than the average rate across other studies.

Men (roughly 73 percent) were significantly more likely than women (70 percent) to have gambled in the past year. About 71 percent of white respondents, compared with 69 percent of Hispanic and approximately 69 percent of black participants reported gambling in the past year.

The survey was conducted by the Center for Gambling Studies at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University. It included 3,634 adults reached by phone and online and is the first representative look at gambling behavior in New Jersey since the 1980s.

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