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BU prof to study problem gambling

Brandon University

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Brandon University (FILE)

A Brandon University psychology professor is studying people’s gambling habits, to assist in the development of new programs to help problem gamblers.

Vance MacLaren is co-investigating with Michael Ellery from the University of Manitoba in a research project entitled Personality and Motives for Gambling Among Frequent VLT Players. The study is supported by a $50,000 grant from the Manitoba Gambling Research Program and $7,500 from the BU Research Committee.

"We are exploring variables that may impact a person’s gambling," MacLaren said, "including their beliefs about VLTs, their motivations for playing, and what kind of person they are in general.  This research is unique because we are talking with Manitoba residents. That may be important for developing new programming to help problem gamblers in this province."

One hundred residents from Brandon and area were interviewed earlier this year, with another 200 to be questioned this fall. MacLaren says each person is given a personality test and a set of anonymous tests that measure how much they gamble and why.

Research is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

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