Role of gambling in payback failure in consumer credit—data from a large body of material regarding consumer loan recipients in Sweden

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Indebtedness is associated with poor health outcomes, and problem gambling may contribute to indebtedness through consumer credits related to gambling expenses. The assessment of consumers’ applications for loans may be an opportunity to detect and prevent further problem gambling. The present study analyzed a number of variables including gambling-related transactions and their association with payback failure in 48,197 loans to 20,750 individuals in Sweden. Sums and frequency of gambling deposits or withdrawals generally did not predict failure to pay back loans. Instead, having a loan defaulted at some time was associated with a baseline pattern describing a theoretical loss-of-control gambling pattern (short-term intense gambling), with a higher ratio of gambling deposits or withdrawals per occasion, and with several instances of gambling in close association with a loan. While several group differences were modest, signs of rapid, short-term and intense gambling, rather than gambling itself, may identify risk of payback failure and risk of indebtedness. Implications for early problem-gambling detection and prevention, such as by gambling operators and financial institutes, are discussed and may promote better public health in relation to gambling indebtedness.


  • A. Håkansson
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi


TidskriftInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Utgåva nummer8
StatusPublished - 2020 apr 2
Peer review utfördJa