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10 Eur. J. Criminology 3 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/eujcrim10 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Article                                                                    rnoogy

                                                              European journal of Criminology
                                                                             10(1) 3-21
The     experience           of  gambling          in                 The Author(s) 2013
                                                             Reprints and permission: sagepub.
an    illegal casino: The             gambling                  co.ul</journalsPerissions.nav
                                                             DOl: I0. 1177/I4773708I2455I24
spin    process                                                         euc.sagepub.com

Moshe Bensimon,Alon Baruch and
Natti   Ronel
Bar-Ilan University, Israel

The present study depicts the experience of gambling in an illegal casino through a qualitative,
phenomenological approach, in light of the criminal spin theory. Semi-structured interviews
were conducted with 10 gamblers and 4 staff members. Qualitative analysis of the data reveals
several major categories that describe the participants' experiences: fears in the illegal casino;
learning through experience and with the assistance of a mentor; strengthening the sense of
potency; a tunnel vision perspective; the growing urge to gamble; losing control; harming the
family; and finding a way out of gambling. The findings indicate that the illegal casino created a
unique atmosphere for its attendees that fostered a gambling spin that coincides with the motives
of spin theory.

Criminal spin, gambling, illegal casino, phenomenology


Gambling  is an ancient human  activity found in most cultures and parts of the world
(Custer and Milt, 1985). Studies have shown that 70-90 percent of adults in Canada and
Australia gamble  at some   point during their lives (Ladouceur,  1991; Productivity
Commission,  1999). Although many  people regard gambling as a form of entertainment,
some  individuals develop a pattern of gambling characterized by lack of control, 'chasing'
losses, lies and criminal acts, which is defined as 'pathological gambling' (for example,
Dannon  et al., 2006; Lesieur, 1984) or 'problem gambling' (Clarke et al., 2006; Griffiths,
2006). According to Reith (2008), current research on gambling is moving away from an

Corresponding author:
Moshe Bensimon, Department of Criminology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan,
52900, Israel.
Email: bensimm@biu.ac.il

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