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discussion, but not much empirical research, on how changes in the gambling industry have changed the social context of gambling (e.g., Clotfelter and Cook, 1989). More recently, researchers and policymakers are debating whether the spread of computer-based (video or machine) gambling is changing the prevalence or nature of pathological gambling (Fisher, 1994; Fisher and Griffiths, 1995). Research has not established whether distinctive types of gambling organization and technology cause systematic changes in pathological gambling, but some of the research suggests such links may exist (Griffiths, 1993, 1995, 1998).
Much of what we know about the effects of earlier changes in the gambling industry and gambling technologies—such as the introduction of slot machines and the legalization of casinos in Nevada—comes from historical, biographical, and ethnographic narratives (e.g., Chavetz and Simon, 1967; Skolnick, 1978; Thompson, 1986; Fabian, 1990). This work suggests a close relationship between the social context and technology of gambling, gambling behavior, and social outcomes. For example, according to Barrett (personal communication to the committee, 1998), the most significant early technological development in horse racing was the invention at the turn of the century of a wagering system and calculating machine called the Pari-Mutuel System. (The system survives today as "pari-mutuels.") The system allowed some bettors to improve their outcomes by predicting races more skillfully and/or by betting more wisely than most bettors, who underestimate the utility of betting on favorites compared with long shots (Griffiths, 1994; Metzger, 1985; Ladouceur et al., 1998). The system also gave rise to distinctive social roles (bookmaker, professional racetrack gambler, punter) and distinctive supporting technologies (e.g., the racing form).
Different domains of gambling have evolved distinctive cultures, norms, technologies, and social groups who have dominated gambling markets in their respective domains. For example, bingo has its callers and parlors and mainly women patrons. In general, "female" gambling domains are those in which gambling is likely to be less skill-based or to involve less