found that the gamblers had a wholly predictable pattern of behaviour, whereas punters were much more random in their activities. Dickerson describes the build up of the gambling response as a fixed-interval schedule reinforcement and produces evidence that the "blower," the race commentary that relays the events just before the race and the race itself, is a powerful conditioning tool.
A reversal of the gambling process has been tackled both by satiation technique and by aversion. Satiation involves incarceration of the compulsive gambler in an environment representing a betting shop. Around him is the racing information and a bombardment by the "blower" producing commentaries of fictitious races. This procedure was maintained for long periods of days at a time and some success was reported.
Barker and Miller ( 1968) describe the treatment of a slot machine addict using electrical aversion and Goorney ( 1968) describes the same treatment's effect on a horse racing gambler. Seager ( 1970) describes the treatment of fourteen gamblers using electrical shock applied to the wrist as an aversive stimulus. Slides of betting activities and horse racing photographs or lists of runners are used as aversive stimuli, while photographs of members of the family are used for non-shock relief. Five patients remained free of gambling for at least twelve months following this treatment, and one relapsed ten years later during a period of personal stress.
Gambling is an activity enjoyed by a majority of the population and one, in this day of increased leisure time, that is likely to gain favour. This means that more of the vulnerable will be exposed to risk and may develop patterns of activity in which they lose control of their behaviour and subject themselves and their families to problems which may result in intolerable distress for all concerned. Risk taking is a pleasurable activity for many, and it is exciting and, when successful, gives a feeling of exhilaration and satisfaction to the participants. Knowledge of the risks and education in minimizing them and understanding the implications of the whole range of problems will enable