Casino employees regularly interact with problem and at-risk gamblers and thus have considerable potential to both prevent and reduce gambling-related harm. While harm minimization (HM) and responsible gambling (RG) are routinely espoused by the casino industry, the actual level of employee HM/RG training, knowledge, and behaviour is unknown. The present study investigated this issue in the Canadian context by examining employee surveys collected by the RG Check accreditation program (8,262 surveys from 78 Canadian casinos/racinos collected between 2011 and 2020). These surveys revealed that almost all casino employees receive HM/RG training, but the amount of training tends to be quite limited (one hour) except for supervisors, managers, and security personnel. Basic HM/RG knowledge among all employees appears adequate, although their understanding of probability is incomplete. The most important consideration is whether this training and knowledge translates into meaningful HM/RG behaviour towards patrons. The large majority of employees (83.1%) report engaging in at least one HM/RG interaction with a patron at some point during the course of their employment (median length of 4 to 9 years), with security personnel reporting the highest rates. However, the frequency, nature, and impact of these interactions is unknown.
Although there is a growing interest in exploring the specific role of both emotional regulation processes and alexithymia in gambling disorder (GD), evidence remains scarce. In order to delve deeper into the complex interactions between these factors, the present study aimed at exploring a network of the core GD-related features, including GD symptomatology and severity, emotion dysregulation, alexithymia, and personality features. The sample included N = 739 treatment-seeking patients with GD (691 men and 48 women), aged 18–78 years (mean age = 39.2, SD = 13.2). The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria were assessed in, and the South Oaks Gambling Screen, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), and Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised were administered to, participants. A network analysis was conducted to reveal inter-relationships between these elements. Three nodes related to emotion dysregulation showed the most critical position in the whole network of the present study: “lack of emotional awareness”, “non-acceptance of emotional responses”, and “difficulties engaging in goal-directed behaviors”. When analyzing emotional dysregulation using the different DERS subscales, two independent clusters were identified. One cluster encompassed alexithymia dimensions (“lack of awareness” and “lack of clarity”), while the other cluster included all other emotion-dysregulation dimensions. Identification of the emotion-dysregulation- and GD-related features with the highest centrality/linkage may be particularly useful for developing valid measurement tools and precise management plans for individuals with GD.
This research empirically tests the relationship between gambling-related cognitive distortions and the development of gambling problems. In two separate studies using methodologies designed to support non-experimental causal inference, we demonstrate that holding false beliefs about gambling experiences is related to current and future risk of developing problems with gambling. In our first study, we use an instrumental variable estimation strategy on an internet sample (n = 184) and observe a statistically significant relationship between Gamblers’ Belief Questionnaire scores and measures of loss chasing, overspending, and gambling problems. These findings were robust to linear and ordinal estimation strategies and multiple model specifications. In our second study, we examine five-year prospective longitudinal data (n = 1,431) to validate our initial findings and test whether irrational thoughts are also related to future problems with gambling. While controlling for current fallacies, we find that past Gambling Fallacies Measure scores are related to present gambling problems across two survey waves. The effect size of each of the past fallacy levels is roughly half of the effect size of present levels, suggesting meaningful impacts. Our findings support the Pathways Model of Problem and Pathological Gambling.
A recent meta-analysis of laboratory studies on the effects of acute alcohol consumption on risk-taking did not support that acute alcohol consumption increased risk-taking. Questions about whether this finding generalizes to those gambling in naturalistic settings remain. Therefore, we examined the gambling behavior of frequent gamblers who did and did not consume alcohol while gambling. Participants were 769 weekly gamblers (66% male) who were U.S. residents and at least 18 years old. Participants recruited via MTurk completed measures through the Qualtrics survey platform. Significant predictors of gambling under the influence of alcohol were drinking days per month and PGSI score. A linear regression model predicting percentage of time spent gambling under the influence of alcohol revealed that gambling days per week, gambling hours per day, PGSI score, and drinking days per month were significant predictors. Finally, significant predictors of spending at least 50% of gambling time gambling under the influence of alcohol included: gambling hours per day, PGSI score, and drinking days per month. These findings were consistent with the recent meta-analysis of laboratory studies. However, finding that gambling disorder symptoms and overall rates of alcohol consumption were related to gambling under the influence of alcohol replicated the frequently found relation of alcohol problems among those who also exhibit gambling problems.
This brief commentary adds to the recent study by paper by Yokomitsu, Kono and Takada (2022). Their study examined social presence in gambling by experimentally investigating the effects of the presence of other people on risky betting among high-risk gamblers. This commentary argues that the paper by Yokomitsu et al. provided a highly selective review on available studies and omitted many of the key studies in the area of social presence and social facilitation in which their findings could have been compared. The commentary also briefly outlines a number of studies that have I co-authored in this area over the past three decades using a variety of different methodologies (e.g., non-participant observation studies, experiments, data mining of account-based tracking data), none of which were mentioned by Yokomitsu et al. despite their clear relevance to this area.
Gambling among U.S. military veterans is common, with more extensive involvement linked to gambling disorder and associated problems. This study examined associations between recreational gambling (RG) and at-risk/problem gambling (ARPG), and clinical measures (psychiatric disorders, substance use), behaviors (suicidality, homelessness, arrests) and functioning in a nationally representative sample of U.S. military veterans. Data were analyzed from 4069 veterans who participated in the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study. Chi-square tests, analyses of variance (ANOVAs) and logistic regressions were conducted to examine unadjusted and adjusted associations between gambling group status and lifetime and current psychiatric diagnoses and behavioral and functioning measures. A significant minority of U.S. veterans reported gambling, with 27.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 25.5–29.1%) exhibiting RG and 4.9% (95% CI 4.0–5.9%) screening positive for ARPG. The prevalence of ARPG was higher among younger, non-White, male veterans, while RG was more prevalent among retired veterans and those with higher household incomes relative to non-gambling (NG) individuals. ARPG was associated with greater trauma burden, lifetime and current psychiatric diagnoses, mental health treatment, alcohol and drug use disorders, suicidal ideation, homelessness, arrests, and poorer functioning relative to NG and RG, with stronger magnitude differences relative to NG. RG was associated with substance use disorders and arrest histories relative to NG. Results of the current study provide an up-to-date estimate of the current prevalence of RG and ARPG among U.S. veterans and underscore the importance of routine screening and monitoring of gambling problems, as well as interventions for ARPG in this population.
Player protection has become an important area for the gambling industry over the past decade. A number of gambling regulators now require gambling operators to interact with customers if they suspect they are gambling in a problematic way. The present study provided insight on the impact of personalized feedback interventions (PFIs) on subsequent gambling behavior among a Dutch sample of real-world gamblers. Nederlandse Loterij (the national Dutch Lottery operator) provided access to a secondary dataset comprising tracking data from online casino and sports betting gamblers (N = 2,576) who were contacted either by e-mail or telephone between November 2021 and March 2022 if they showed signs of problematic gambling as identified using behavioral tracking software. Compared to matched controls (n = 369,961 gamblers), Dutch gamblers who received a PFI (via e-mail [n = 1876] or a telephone call [n = 700]) from the gambling operator had a significant reduction in amount of money deposited, amount of money wagered, number of monetary deposits, and time spent gambling in the 30 days after being contacted. Gambling frequency as measured by the number of gambling days did not change significantly after a PFI. Telephone calls did not lead to a significant larger reduction with respect to the aforementioned behavioral metrics. High-intensity players reduced their gambling behavior as frequently as low-intensity players, which means that the intervention’s success was independent of gambling intensity. The impact on subsequent gambling was the same across age groups and gender. The results of the present study are of use to many different stakeholder groups including researchers in the gambling studies field and the gambling industry as well as regulators and policymakers who can recommend or enforce that gambling operators utilize responsible gambling tools such as using PFIs to those who may be displaying problematic gambling behaviors as a way of minimizing harm and protecting gamblers.
In recent years, a growing number of attachment-based studies have contributed to the understanding of both substance and behavioral addictions. Although gambling is a form of addictive behavior widespread all over the world, both among young people and adults, the evidence on the association between attachment-related phenomena and gambling has not yet been systematized in literature. The aim of the present study, therefore, is to provide a systematic literature review aimed at summarizing the empirical evidence on this topic. Following the updated 2020 PRISMA guidelines, a systematic search in four electronic scientific databases (Scopus, PubMed, PsycInfo and Web of Science) was conducted. After removing duplicates, 146 records were double-screened, with 12 articles meeting the inclusion criteria. Additionally, by means of a backward search a further article was selected. Altogether, 13 articles were selected for the present systematic review. With few exceptions, the results underline the significant role played by attachment-related phenomena in gambling behaviors, highlighting that specific attachment contexts have a different influence on gambling, also depending on whether gamblers are youths or adults. In particular, while secure attachment has proven to be a protective factor for the onset of gambling behavior, insecure attachment has emerged to be a vulnerability factor in two ways. On the one hand, it directly favors gambling behaviors; on the other, it affects coping strategies and the individual’s ability to identify and regulate emotions, which in turn predict gambling. Limitations, strengths, and implications of the present systematic review are discussed.
We explored the effects of the presence of and cooperation with others on risky betting in a laboratory-based gambling task among high-risk gamblers. Specifically, we compared risky betting under solo, parallel, and cooperation conditions using a stratified randomized, cross-over design. Stratification was conducted according to participant age and gender. The participants were 40 Japanese adults (20 women, 20 men; mean age = 46, SD = 12.80). In the experiment, each participant conducted the Game of Dice Task (GDT) individually (solo condition), in parallel with another participant (parallel condition), and working together with another participant (cooperation condition). Linear mixed modeling results showed that when we controlled for previously specified covariates, there were no significant differences among the solo, parallel, and cooperation conditions regarding risky betting (parallel: estimates = 0.10, SE = 0.79, p = .900; cooperation: estimates = 0.95, SE = 0.79, p = .232). However, post-hoc analysis showed a significant difference between the solo and cooperation conditions regarding the number of times participants chose the riskiest bet (parallel: estimates = 0.18, SE = 0.52, p = .739; cooperation: estimates = 1.13, SE = 0.53, p = .035). Thus, we found that neither the presence of nor cooperation with others decreased risky betting in the GDT among high-risk gamblers. However, we did observe that participants displayed the riskiest betting behavior (i.e., selecting the single choice) in the GDT during the cooperation condition, compared with the solo condition.
Previous research has identified attentional biases towards addiction-related stimuli, including gambling-related stimuli. Eye-tracking is considered the gold standard methodology for measuring attentional biases, yet no review to date has examined its use in measuring gambling-related attentional biases. This systematic review synthesized the literature using eye-tracking to examine attentional biases among people who gamble. We reviewed articles from Web of Science and PubMed that were published from 1990 to 2021. A total of 11 articles were included, with sample sizes ranging from 38 to 173 participants. Of these studies, seven examined attentional biases for gambling-related visual stimuli. These seven studies provided support that gambling can result in the development of an attentional bias for gambling-related stimuli. With respect to correlates of gambling-related attentional biases, there were mixed results. Some studies identified significant positive associations between gambling-related attentional biases and psychosocial variables, such as problem gambling severity, gambling expectancies, gambling cravings, gambling motives, depressive symptom severity, alcohol use severity, daily stress, affective impulsivity, and immersion. Four studies examined attentional biases for responsible gambling messaging and advertisements, finding that both people who do and do not gamble attend less to responsible gambling messaging compared to other types of information such as the betting odds. Research using eye-tracking to examine attentional biases among people who gamble is in its infancy. Yet, the preliminary results support the identification of attentional biases using the gold-standard methodology. Further studies are needed to examine the correlates and potential clinical utility of assessing gambling-related attentional biases using eye-tracking.
The presence of unsuitable coping and emotion regulation strategies in young populations with gambling disorder (GD) and in those who have experienced cyberbullying victimization has been suggested. However, this association has not been explored in depth. In this study, our aim was to analyze individual differences in emotion regulation, coping strategies, and substance abuse in a clinical sample of adolescents and young adult patients with GD (n = 31) and in a community sample (n = 250). Furthermore, we aimed to examine the association between cyberbullying and GD. Participants were evaluated using the Cyberbullying Questionnaire-Victimization, the Canadian Adolescent Gambling Inventory, the Coping Strategies Inventory, the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and the Drug Use Disorders Identification Test. Structural Equation Modeling was used to explore associations between these factors in a community sample and in a clinical group. In both groups, exposure to cyberbullying behaviors was positively associated with higher emotion dysregulation and the use of maladaptative coping styles. Our findings uphold that adolescents and young adults who were victims of cyberbullying show difficulties in emotion regulation and maladaptive coping strategies when trying to solve problems. The specific contribution of sex, age, gambling severity, emotion regulation, and coping strategies on cyberbullying severity is also discussed. Populations at vulnerable ages could potentially benefit from public prevention policies that target these risk factors.
As real time soccer gambling is becoming a game of choice for many Nigerian youths, there is need to examine some predictive factors that could account for risky decision making in the population. We combined some cognitive tasks (memory, concentration, executive function and problem solving) and non-cognitive measures (time taken to complete a bet, years of gambling and addiction tendency measures) to derive a more parsimonious model of predicting risky decision making in this population. Twenty-eight undergraduate students that endorsed regular involvement (at least once a week) in soccer betting and were willing to come to the psychology lab for testing were recruited. Four neuropsychological measures (Craft Story 21: Immediate and delayed, Number Span Test: Forward and backward, Trail Making Test: A&B, Tower of Hannoi and a gambling questionnaire (Gamblers Anonymous Questionnaire) were used for the study. Study design was correlational and linear regression (step wise method) was used for data analysis. Step wise regression statistics yielded nine possible model combinations with high predictive strengths. Overall, model 9 (with adjusted R² = 0.57) that has 6 measures including one from non-cognitive and 5 from cognitive measures was adjudged to be most parsimonious putting into consideration its predictive strength and number of tasks required. The tasks in our most parsimonious model were: time taken to complete a bet (non-cognitive), Craft Story 21: immediate (cognitive: memory), Number Span Forward: Total correct and longest correct (cognitive: concentration), Trail Making Test: B (cognitive: executive function) and Tower of Hannoi: Time taken to complete (cognitive: problem solving). Pearson product moment correlation between the predictor variables and the dependent variable (number of odds selected) showed inverse correlation of Craft Story Immediate, Number Span total correct and Number span longest correct suggesting strong divergence of these variables to odd selection. Time taken to complete bet, Trail Making Test: B and time taken to complete Tower of Hannoi respectively had positive correlations with number of odds selected. Our results suggest that multiple domains of cognitive abilities and time taken to complete a bet are important for predicting gamblers at risk for poor decision making. It further suggests that use of single task for a particular cognitive domain could be sufficient in predicting persons at risk for decision making. Overall, our study suggests that risky decision making in real time sports betting could be predicted using fewer neuropsychological tasks measuring wider domains of brain behaviour and a non-cognitive measure.
Gambling disorder is a high comorbid disorder in substance abusers which conjunct appearance is related to worse symptomatology and evolution. Nevertheless, the research on the risk factors that may explain this comorbidity is scarce. We build of the self-regulation theory of attachment and addiction to examine if insecure attachment is related to gambling comorbidity in substance abuse disorder and the mediating role of alexithymia in this process. A cross-sectional study was carried out with 369 clinical patients with substance use disorder of which 69 presented comorbid gambling disorder diagnosed with the DSM-5 criteria. Results showed that insecure attachment was more prevalent in the group with comorbid gambling. In this group, the alexithymia levels were also higher and mediated the relationship in between attachment and gambling disorder comorbidity even controlling for several sociodemographic variables. This research indicates that insecure attachment enhances the risk of gambling comorbidity on substance abusers due to the detrimental effect on the self-regulation of emotion. Thus, interventions directed to increase the identification, expression and awareness of emotions might help to reduce comorbidity of gambling of substance use disorders.
This study examines the social media activities of gambling providers in Germany, focusing on the platform Twitter. A collection of 34.151 tweets from 13 Twitter accounts was made, representing casinos, sports betting, state lotteries, social lotteries and lottery brokers. We apply an explorative mixed-methods approach, integrating a summative content analysis together with a semi-supervised guided topic modeling approach, to analyse frequency, number of followers, interaction and content of Twitter messages, and work out differences among the individual providers. The results show that Twitter does not seem to be particularly important for gambling providers who are active in Germany. Regarding outreach, frequency of tweets and interaction, Twitter plays a much smaller role than, for example, in the UK. The potential for Twitter to be an advertising, marketing and interaction channel has not yet been fully exploited, which would make it a perfect moment for developing an appropriate regulatory framework. Overall, the results of semi-supervised topic modeling show that providers most often use informative content ( news ) and combine it with other, usually less neutral content. It is alarming that many providers make little or no use of Responsible Gambling messages. Even though the activities are presently on a low level, they contribute to the normalization of gambling, setting incentives for increasing gambling participation. Children and youth form a large segment of Twitter users. Potential harm can arise especially for this group because of the lack of enforcement of any age limit.
It is not known why some novice gamblers eventually develop Gambling Disorder while most do not. This study tested predictions from two competing models of Gambling Disorder etiology: the Pathways Model of Problem and Pathological Gambling (Blaszczynski & Nower, 2002) and the Allostatic Model of addictions (Koob & Schulkin, 2019) applied to Gambling Disorder. Participants were drawn from introductory psychology courses and screened as non-gamblers (N = 91). They completed computerized versions of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT-2), Wisconsin Sorting Task (WCST-64), and a Difficulties with Emotional Regulation Scale (DERS). Risk-taking tendencies were observed by having participants play a typical electronic slots game for up to 15 min. Higher betting on the slots game was correlated with the frequency of Deck A selections on the IGT-2 and lower total DERS scores. There were no significant correlations involving slots betting and the WCST-64. Greater risk-taking on the slots game was correlated with more frequent wins, partial losses that were disguised as wins, bonus game features, and the largest nominal amount won on a single spin. However, there were no significant correlations between betting behaviors and the ‘payback percentage’, defined as total winnings as a proportion of total wagers made throughout the session. Post-game ratings were positively correlated with frequency of reinforcing outcomes. These findings suggest that novice gamblers’ likelihood of further gambling participation may be elevated by high sensitivity to immediate rewards and low difficulty self-regulating negative emotions. These findings are consistent with the Allostatic Model; they are not consistent with Pathways Model.
Although near-miss is an important tendency indicator for gambling addiction, no scale has been developed to evaluate these feelings. In this study, the aim is to develop a Near Miss Scale (NMS) to assess the tendency of gambling. In the first step, a 38-item measurement tool was prepared by the first author, which was examined by 8 experts. According to their comments and opinions, a 32-item 5-point Likert-type pre-form was created. The study was conducted with 600 gamblers in Northern Cyprus between December 2018-March 2019 and data from 563 of them were included in the statistical analysis. In the questionnaire, Socio-demographic form, Gambling Craving Scale (GCS), South Oaks Gambling Screening Test (SOGST) and NMS were used. With the SPSS 23 and R Studio statistical programs, after calculating the item-total correlations of the items in the NMS form, items with low item total-correlation values were excluded from the scale and 30 items were analysed statistically. In the study, it was seen that the factor loads of the relevant items in NMS were between .715 and .896. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) showed that a single factor model in the scale was valid. NMS had a positive correlation with SOGST (r = 0.601) and GCS (r = 0.752). The 2-week test–retest results of NMS with a Cronbach alpha of 0.981 were determined as 0.972. The validity and reliability results suggest that NMS is a valid and reliable as 30-item, one-dimensional measurement tool for assessing gambling tendency among gamblers.
Recreational and problem gambling have been linked with adverse health and functioning outcomes among adolescents. Youth may gamble and engage in other risk-taking behaviors in casinos. There are limited data available regarding casino gambling in high-school students, and factors linked to adolescent gambling in casinos have yet to be systematically investigated. To address this gap, we analyzed cross-sectional data from 2010 Connecticut high-school students with chi-square tests and logistic regression models to examine casino gambling in relation to at-risk/problem gambling (ARPG) with respect to sociodemographic characteristics, gambling perceptions & attitudes, health/functioning measures and gambling behaviors. Approximately 11 % of adolescents acknowledged gambling in casinos. ARPG was more frequent and gambling perceptions were more permissive among adolescents endorsing casino gambling. Stronger relationships between ARPG and heavy alcohol and drug use and weaker relationships between ARPG and engagement in extracurricular activities, gambling with friends, gambling with strangers and gambling for financial reasons were observed among adolescents endorsing casino gambling. In conclusion, gambling in casinos was endorsed by a sizable minority of adolescents who gamble, and prevention efforts should consider targeting permissive attitudes towards gambling, adolescent drinking and participation in extracurricular activities when addressing underage casino gambling.
Online gambling disorder has recently emerged as a significant public health issue. Family dynamics play an important role in the development of online gambling disorder. In this research, the aimed to compare the parental acceptance/rejection and attachment styles of individuals with online gambling disorder with a healthy control group. Also, the relationship between parental acceptance/rejection and attachment styles was examined in individuals with online gambling disorder. The study group consisted of 53 male patients with online gambling disorder and 57 healthy controls. The individuals with online gambling disorder perceived more rejection from mothers but especially from fathers than the individuals in the control group. Paternal hostility/aggression and indifference/neglect are determinants of online gambling behavior. The individuals with online gambling disorder had lower levels of secure attachment and higher levels of dismissive and fearful attachment than the individuals in the control group. Both secure attachment style and dismissive attachment style are thought to be determinants of gambling behavior. Mother-father rejection and insecure attachment are important in terms of creating risk for online gambling. Assessment of the effects of maternal and especially paternal rejection in online gambling disorder will be beneficial within the scope of preventive mental health.
In order to protect gamblers, gambling operators have introduced a wide range of responsible gambling (RG) tools. Mandatory play breaks (i.e., forced termination of a gambling session) and personalized feedback about the gambling expenditure are two RG tools that are frequently used. While the motivation behind mandatory play breaks is simple (i.e., gambling operators expect gamblers to reduce their gambling significantly as a result of an enforced break in play), empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of the mandatory breaks is still limited. The present study comprised a real-world experiment with the clientele of Norwegian gambling operator Norsk Tipping. On the Norsk Tipping gambling website, which offers slots, bingo and sports-betting, forced termination occurs if gamblers have played continuously for a one-hour period. The study tested the effect of different lengths of mandatory play breaks (90 s, 5 min, 15 min) on subsequent gambling behavior, as well as the effect of combined personalized feedback concerning money wagered, won, and net win/loss. In total 21,129 online players (61% male; mean age = 47.4 years) experienced at least one play break between April 17 and May 21 (2020) with 156,989 mandatory play breaks in total. Results indicated that a 15-min mandatory play break led to a disproportionately longer voluntary play pause compared to 5-min and 90-s mandatory play breaks. Personalized feedback appeared to have no additional effect on subsequent gambling and none of the mandatory play breaks appeared to affect the increase or decrease in money wagered once players started to gamble again.
People who have experienced many gambling wins tend to make larger bets even when they are unlikely to win (reckless betting) than those who have experienced many losses. This study examined psychological factors underlying reckless betting when gambling from the perspectives of affect and risk–benefit perception. University students (N = 63) participated in an experiment using the Acey-Deucey Task, in which the number of wins and losses during the 1st session was experimentally manipulated such that there were either 24, 12, or 6 wins out of 30 trials. Positive–negative affect and perceived risk–benefit during the task were assessed by self-report. Betting recklessness during the 2nd session was calculated using winning probability and bet size data in each trial. The results indicated that experiencing few prior wins, that is, many prior losses decreased positive affect and perceived benefits of betting and increased negative affect and perceived risks of betting. Path analysis results suggested that gambler's positive and negative affect altered perceived benefits of betting, which influenced reckless betting. Although participants that experienced more prior wins made more reckless bets similar to previous studies, there were no statistical differences between the three groups. Time-series analysis revealed that participants who experienced many prior losses made increasingly reckless bets at the end of the gambling task. We have discussed other potential variables that might have influenced recklessness, and the time-series analysis’ implications on reckless betting and loss-chasing.
The increasing presence of gaming disorder in recent years has led to major efforts to identify the specific predictors that have a high impact on the profile of people seeking treatment for this mental condition. The purpose of this study was to explore the network structure of the correlates of gaming disorder considering sociodemographic features and other clinical symptoms. Network analysis was applied to a sample of patients who met clinical criteria for gaming disorder (n = 117, of ages ranging from 15 to 70 yrs-old). Variables considered in the network included sex, age, socioeconomic position, global emotional distress, age of onset and duration of the gaming disorder, personality traits and the presence of other addictive behaviors (tobacco, alcohol and behavioral addictions). The central nodes in the network were global psychological distress, chronological age, and age of onset of gaming related problems. Linkage analysis also identified psychopathological status and age as the variables with the most valuable information in the model. The poorest relevance in the analysis was for the duration of gaming problems and socioeconomic levels. Modularity analysis grouped the nodes within four clusters. Identification of the variables with the highest centrality/linkage can be particularly useful for developing precise management plans to prevent and treat gaming disorder related problems.
Although food addiction (FA) is a debated condition and it is not currently recognized as a formal diagnosis, it shares features with other addictions, such as gambling disorder (GD). However, the prevalence of FA in GD and the clinical correlates are incompletely understood, especially within women versus men. To investigate FA in patients presenting with GD. The sample included 867 patients diagnosed with GD (798 males and 69 females) attending a specialized behavioral addictions unit. FA was observed in 8.3% of GD patients (18.8% of women, 7.4% of men). More psychopathology and harm avoidance, greater body mass indices and less self-directedness and cooperativeness were associated with FA. In women, FA was associated with a longer GD duration. In men, FA was associated with earlier GD onset, greater GD and problematic alcohol use severities. Among patients with GD, FA was associated with more psychopathology and gambling patterns suggestive of more protracted or severe GD. Screening for and addressing FA condition in patients with GD may help optimize preventive and therapeutic approaches. Future studies should consider testing guidelines to improve healthy eating habits, increase physical exercise and better manage stress and other negative emotions in order to target FA in GD.
The present study is the first to examine account-based tracking data of Portuguese online lottery players comprising the gambling activity of all active players over a one-year period (N = 154,585). The main research goal was the identification of groups or segments of players by their engagement levels (high, neutral, low) and to assess preferences in product category with the use of CHAID (Chi-Square Automatic Interaction Detection) segmentation models, based on expenditure and sociodemographic variables. Findings showed that (1) age was found to be the most influential differentiating variable in player segmentation and had a positive correlation with expenditures and wagers, (2) gender was the second most influential variable (males represented 78.7% of players), (3) education the third most influential variable and had a negative correlation with expenditure, and (4) region was the least relevant variable. The models generated several players segments that engaged in different games. Older males (54–64 years; ≥ 65 years) were the most engaged overall. Younger males (18–34 years) were the least engaged but showed preferences for lotto as did females (35–49 years). Lower educated males and older males (49 years+) with a high school education were the most engaged in instant lottery games. These findings show that Portuguese lottery players can be grouped into several segments with distinct demographic characteristics and corresponding engagement levels. These findings help support more effective marketing segmentation and will help in the targeting of responsible gambling approaches.
Internet delivered interventions are accessible and easy to access and can be used to deliver brief interventions. These interventions can be tailored according to individual need for the prevention and minimisation of gambling harm or early intervention for those that are displaying some signs of problems. The objective of this review was to summarise the existing literature on the effectiveness of prevention, harm reduction and early intervention programs when delivered online. A systematic review was conducted for peer-reviewed studies that evaluated internet delivered interventions for the prevention, harm reduction or early intervention for gambling problems. Four electronic databases were consulted in the past 20 years (2000–2020) resulting in a total of 15 included studies. Across identified studies just one study provided prevention with 7 harm reduction and 7 early interventions. The quality of the literature was variable with just 8 randomised controlled trials with the remainder matched controls or longitudinal cohort studies. The target group was predominantly gamblers accessing betting and casino websites (n = 8). Studies administered four types of interventions which included personalised and normative feedback, limit setting, self-directed cognitive and behavioural therapy and self-exclusion. These were delivered via customer gaming accounts, email, and self-learning packages. The available literature shows promise in the effectiveness of internet delivered interventions. However, the limited number of studies included in this review highlight significant lost opportunities to leverage technology in the prevention and reduction of gambling harm.
In many countries, problem gambling is a significant public health concern. Gambling addiction has been linked to poor health, psychological distress, financial difficulties, and strained interpersonal relationships. In New Zealand, problem gambling is estimated to affect over 10% of the population. To minimize harm, the Gambling Act of 2003 was introduced to limit the number of electronic gaming machines in non-casino establishments. Beyond national-level restrictions, local governments were required to adopt gambling policies of their own and review them every three years. One specific policy that emerged at the local level, found exclusively in New Zealand, is the sinking lid. Sinking lids are designed to gradually reduce machine caps by prohibiting the transfer of gaming licenses. This study leverages variation in the geography and timing of local policy interventions to estimate the effect of sinking lids on gambling expenditure. Results suggest that sinking lids reduce gambling expenditure by 13% relative to regions not adopting policies beyond national-level restrictions.
Gambling is legal in most countries. However, despite having some economic benefits, certain characteristics of gambling can have health consequences, rendering it a public health issue. The effects can be summarized according to the following three “laws” of ethical gambling: “Gambling Dynamics Law”: companies’ economic gains come directly from players’ losses; “Expected Loss Law”: the more one gambles, the greater the probability of losing; and “Addiction Law”: the more one gambles, the greater the need to play again, leading to further losses. Ludens is a gambling addiction prevention program that has four goals: inform participants about gambling and gambling addiction; sensitize participants to the risk of gambling for health, especially addiction; promote a change in attitudes toward gambling; and alert participants to risky behaviors that can lead to addiction. The prevention program was implemented during 2017 to 2019. Fourteen psychologists presented it to 2372 adolescents (48.8% females, 51.2% males) aged 14–19 years, none of whom were university students, recruited from 42 Spanish high schools in 132 groups taking different courses. The main dependent variables analyzed were the monthly frequencies of gambling, at-risk gambling, and gambling addiction (as measured by the National Opinion Research Center DSM-IV Screen for Gambling Problems, adapted to diagnose gambling disorder according to DSM-5, in which pathological gambling is considered an addictive disorder). Given that all of the gamblers were adolescents (most were minors), fulfilment of 1–3 the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria was considered to indicate a risk of problem gambling. After the administration of Ludens, statistically significant reductions were observed in the three variables of interest: monthly frequency of gambling, percentage of adolescents with risky gambling, and percentage of adolescents with gambling disorder. The results were analyzed according to sex and age (minors vs. adolescents between 18 and 19 years old). The results obtained after applying the prevention program indicate that Ludens is effective as a universal prevention program for gambling addiction.
This study analyzed the Responsible Gambling Check patron survey data from Canadian casinos and racinos collected from 2011-2019 (18,580 patrons and 75 venues). The results indicated increasing awareness and use over time of harm minimization tools among more frequent patrons. Despite these promising trends, it is concerning that a substantial percentage of gamblers are still unaware of the harm minimization tools available. Further, the actual impact of this awareness on responsible gambling behaviour is largely unknown. We suggest greater efforts are needed nation-wide to promote the awareness, utilization, and evaluation of these harm minimization tools.
Chasing, or continuing to gamble to recoup previous losses, is a behavioral marker and a diagnostic criterion for gambling disorder. Even though chasing has been recognized to play a central role in gambling disorder, research on chasing is still relatively scarce. This
study first empirically investigated the interplay between cognitive distortions related to gambling, temporal perspective, and chasing behavior in a sample of habitual gamblers. Two hundred and fifty-five adults took part in the study. Participants completed the South
Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), the Gambling Related Cognitions Scale (GRCS), the 14-item Consideration of Future Consequences scale (CFC-14), and performed a computerized task assessing chasing behavior. Participants were randomly assigned to three
experimental conditions (Control, Loss, and Win). Hierarchical logistic regression analysis showed that the decision to chase depended on scores on the CFC-14 Immediate scale and the GRCS dimensions Gambling Expectancies and Interpretative Bias. Hierarchical linear
regression analysis indicated that, chasing frequency was affected by Loss condition, distortions related to gambling expectancies and predictive control, as well as by myopia for the future. Interestingly, the results of path analysis clearly indicated that some cognitions
related to gambling predict chasing frequency not only directly, but also indirectly via shortened time horizon. Notably, gambling severity did not predict either the decision to chase, or the chasing persistence. These findings provide further evidence that nonchasers
and chasers seem to belong to two quite distinct subtypes of gamblers. Such a difference could be useful for targeting more effective intervention strategies in gambling disorder treatment.
Online sports gambling is a popular recreational activity. Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour as the theoretical foundation, the aim of this study was to examine for differences between gamblers and non-gamblers in terms of their attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control towards online sports gambling. 173 male students from a tertiary educational institution were recruited for this study of which 56 respondents (32%) were gamblers. A series of regression analysis revealed differences between gamblers and non-gamblers. While subjective norms and perceived behavioural control were significant predictors of gambling intentions for the gamblers group, only attitude was a significant predictor for the non-gamblers group. Further analysis showed that subjective norms had a larger effect on the gamblers group in comparison to the non-gamblers group. Physiological data from an eye tracker provided further empirical evidence that there were differences between gamblers and non-gamblers. Gamblers, perhaps because they are more familiar with gambling websites, take less time to process information. The findings from this study suggests that there are differences between gamblers and non-gamblers. To prevent problem gambling, there is a need to develop different communication messages for gamblers and non-gamblers.
Consequences experienced by the partners of individuals with a gambling disorder are well documented. However, little is known about the deleterious effects experienced by other people than partners of gamblers. A better understanding of these consequences could help improve clinical practices. The goal of this paper is to compare the consequences experienced by partners of gamblers with those experienced by their close family members (parents, adult children, siblings) by using the categorization method proposed by Langham et al. (BMC Public Health, 2016). To achieve this goal, 46 semi-structured interviews were conducted. Results indicate that the extent and intensity of the consequences experienced vary widely based on their level of emotional and financial involvement with the gambler. Considering the specific elements involved for each type of person in a gambler’s life, future research should distinguish participants based on the nature of their relationship with the gambler.
The aim of this study is to investigate the role played by mindfulness in the relationship between cognitive styles and gambling disorders in a sample of female young adults. Participants in this study (125 women; Mage = 18.64 years; SD = 1.7) were recruited in betting or bingo halls. They completed the South Oaks Gambling Screen, the Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure, and Sternberg's questionnaire on thinking styles. The results from the mediation analyses revealed that the executive thinking style increases gambling and that the deficit in mindfulness ability mediates this relationship. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.
Previous research has identified the benefits of increasing self-efficacy in problem gamblers, while other research has identified higher levels of shame and dysfunctional coping in problem gamblers. The primary aim of the present study was to examine the relationships between problem gambling behaviour, shame (as both a personality trait and an emotional state), gambling-related self-efficacy, and dysfunctional coping mechanisms. The sample consisted of 235 participants (172 male; mean age = 30.32, SD = 8.57), who completed an online, self-report questionnaire that assessed gambling severity, shame-proneness, post-gambling shame and guilt, and dysfunctional coping. Data were assessed using path analysis models. As hypothesised, more problematic gambling was significantly associated with dysfunctional coping. A pathway mediation model was determined and several mediator variables were found to operate in series, including: shame proneness, post-gambling shame, and gambling-related self-efficacy. This research supports and builds on previous research that has highlighted the detrimental effect of problem gambling and shame on coping mechanisms, and the benefits of gambling-related self-efficacy for subsequent coping. A limitation of the study was that 18.7% of the sample reported scores indicative of probable pathological gambling, while most of the remaining sample were representative of recreational gambling. Implications of this are discussed.
Impaired subjective awareness of problem gambling may act as a barrier to help-seeking and treatment adherence. However, the impact of impaired problem gambling awareness on clinical and social outcomes has received little empirical study. The aim of this study was to develop and investigate the psychometric properties of a novel scale that measures impaired illness awareness in individuals with problem gambling. We developed the Gambling Awareness and Insight Scale (GAS), a self-report measure that assesses the core theoretical constructs of illness awareness in problem gambling, namely General Disorder or Problem Awareness, Accurate Symptom Attribution, Awareness of Need for Treatment and the Negative Consequences attributable to problem gambling (www.illnessawarenessscales.com). Data were acquired from an online survey platform, Dynata, to evaluate the psychometric properties of the GAS. A total of 100 participants aged 18 years or older with problem gambling defined by a score of 4 or more on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) Pathological Gambling Diagnostic Form were included. The GAS demonstrated good convergent (r = 0.57, p < 0.001) and discriminant validity (r = − 0.18, p = 0.080). It also demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.80) and one-month test-retest reliability (intra-class correlation = 0.86). An exploratory factor analysis suggested retention of two components. The GAS is a novel psychometric tool designed to evaluate impaired subjective illness awareness in problem gambling. Initial evidence suggests that the GAS can be used in research and clinical settings to evaluate the impact of impaired problem gambling awareness on adherence to treatment programs, clinical and psychosocial outcomes. Replication in applied settings is needed.
Problem gambling and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are highly co-morbid and lead to numerous adverse health outcomes. Research demonstrates that greater levels of well-being protect individuals from experiencing ACE-related harms after a history of childhood adversity; however, this relationship has not been examined in the gambling literature. We hypothesized that individuals who experienced ACEs would engage in more problem gambling behaviors. We also hypothesized that individuals who experienced ACEs and reported flourishing mental health would have lower rates of problem gambling than individuals who experienced ACEs but did not report flourishing mental health. We conducted a secondary data analysis of the adult sample in the Well-Being and Experiences (WE) Study. Examining a parent population, parents and caregivers (N = 1000; Mage = 45.2 years; 86.5% female) of adolescents were interviewed on a variety of measures, including their history of ACEs, their gambling behaviors within the past year, and their mental health and well-being. We used multinomial logistic regression analysis to examine the relationship between 15 ACEs and gambling type (i.e., non-gambler, non-problem gambler, at-risk/problem gambler). We used interaction terms between each ACE and mental health to examine the moderating role of flourishing mental health and well-being. ACEs were associated with at-risk/problem gambling supporting hypothesis 1. Contrary to hypothesis 2, overall, flourishing mental health did not moderate the relationship between ACEs and gambling severity except for one ACE. In this study, we were able to gain a better understanding of how different ACEs each contribute to varying levels of gambling severity.
Pay-to-Win gaming describes a common type of video game design in which players can pay to advance in the game. The frequency and value of payments is unlimited, and payments are linked to players’ competitiveness or progress in the game, which can potentially facilitate problematic behavioral patterns, similar to those known from gambling. Our analyses focus on assessing similarities and differences between Pay-to-Win and different forms of gambling. Based on a survey among 46,136 German adult internet users, this study presents the demographic and socio-economic profile of (1) Pay-to-Win gamers who make purchases in such games, (2) heavy users who conduct daily payments, and (3) gamers who are also gamblers. Motives for making payments were assessed and participation, frequency and spending in gambling by Pay-to-Win gamers are presented. To assess the similarity of Pay-to-Win gaming and gambling, we tested whether Pay-to-Win participation, frequency of payments and problematic gaming behavior are predictors for gambling and cross-tested the opposite effects of gambling on Pay-to-Win. We find that Pay-to-Win gamers are a distinct consumer group with considerable attraction to gambling. High engagement and problematic behavior in one game form affects (over)involvement in the other. Common ground for Pay-to-Win gaming and gambling is the facilitation of recurring payments.
Differences in the psychological characteristics and gambling behaviors of sports bettors and non-sports bettors were examined with a view to identifying predictors of problem gambling severity. A survey was completed by 1,280 participants, 596 of whom had placed bets on a sporting event in the last year. We found that sports bettors are at greater risk of problem gambling due to differences in attitudes towards gambling, personality traits, thinking styles, erroneous cognitions, and gambling motivations. Moreover, our findings suggest that the difference between individuals who bet on sports and those who do not is more quantitative than qualitative. A stratified stochastic search variable selection analysis by type of bettor revealed similar important predictors of problem gambling for both sports bettors and non-sports bettors; however, the association between the predictors and problem gambling was stronger for sports bettors. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that preventative methods and interventions for problem gambling should be targeted as a function of whether individuals bet on sports.
Changes in gambling advertising during national COVID-19 ‘lockdowns’, when stay-at-home rules restricted participation in certain gambling activities, provides important context to variance in gambling behaviour during these periods. This study describes expenditure on paid-for gambling advertising during three national lockdowns, compares expenditure to pre-pandemic estimates, and compares changes in expenditure by subsector. Data come from an observational study of weekly expenditure on paid-for gambling advertising in the United Kingdom (n = 135 weeks; beginning 2019 to mid-2021), focusing on three COVID-19 lockdowns: (1) March-May 2020; (2) November-December 2020; and (3) January-March 2021. We descriptively analysed how total advertising expenditure in each lockdown (£GBP, inflation-adjusted) compared to the same time points in 2019, both overall and by subsector (bookmakers, lotteries, online bingo, online casino and poker, gaming, pools, mobile content). Gambling advertising expenditure during lockdown one was 38.5% lower than 2019 (£43.5 million[m] vs. £70.7 m, respectively), with decreases across all subsectors (range: -81.7% [bookmakers] to -2.8% [online bingo]). Total advertising expenditure in lockdown two was 49.3% higher than 2019 (£51.7 m vs. £34.6 m), with increases for 5/7 subsectors (range: -31.6% [mobile content] to + 103.8% [bookmakers]). In lockdown three, advertising expenditure was 5.9% higher than 2019 (£91.2 m vs. £86.1 m), with increases for 4/7 subsectors (range: -92.4% [pools] to + 49.2% [mobile content]). Reductions in advertising expenditure in lockdown one are congruent with self-reported reductions in overall gambling also observed during this period. Further research is needed to determine whether increased advertising expenditure in lockdowns two and three correlates with increased gambling, overall and for specific subsectors.
Social responsibility and duty of care have become major cornerstones for gambling operators. This has led to the introduction of many different responsible gambling tools such as limit-setting, mandatory play breaks, and personalized messaging. In the present study, the authors were given access to two secondary datasets provided by a German online slots game operator. The first dataset was from an online survey carried out by the gambling operator among 1000 of its players concerning their attitude towards deposit limits as well as self-reported problem gambling. In addition to the survey responses, the authors were given access to a second dataset of account-based data concerning each customer's wagers, wins, monetary deposits, and monetary withdrawals. These datasets were then combined.
Gambling possess both entertaining and potentially harmful aspects. It remains a challenge for public health authorities and gambling operators to recommend and implement effective evidence-based interventions to reduce gambling-related harm and prevent problematic gambling behavior. This systematic review examined studies on randomized controlled trials in this field, aiming to describe and evaluate the effect of preventive and harm-reducing interventions for online gambling and electronic gaming machines. A systematic literature search was performed in PsycINFO, PubMed, Embase, and SCOPUS. Study selection, risk of bias assessment, and data extraction were conducted by two reviewers independently, and a synthesis was performed. A total of 18 studies were included, of which the majority were limited by quality issues. The applied interventions focused on restraining gambling, providing feedback, delivering therapeutic and informative content, and priming analytical thinking. The studies varied greatly in terms of specific intervention content, study setting, participants, and outcome measures, and no consistent patterns could be detected between study characteristics and related effects. Although research in the field is growing, there is still a need for further methodologically rigorous investigation and consensus on outcome measures sensitive to effects of preventive and harm-reducing interventions.
The study is one of the first prevalence studies of gambling and problem gambling among casino patrons in Macao. It aims to identify the demographic profile of gamblers and evaluate the extent of problem gambling among casino patrons. Using a convenience sampling approach, over 6,000 people were intercepted in the proximity of casinos and were invited to answer a structured questionnaire anonymously and voluntarily. Among these people 1,352 respondents indicated that they gambled in casinos at least once in the past 12 months. Over 90% (1,228) of the respondents reported that they gambled in Macao’s casinos and slot lounges. The three most popular forms of casino gambling were baccarat, Sic Bo, and slot machines. The monthly median expenditure on gambling was HKD 1,845 with a range from HKD 2 to HKD 375,175. The prevalence rates for problem gambling and pathological gambling were 15.1% and 7.1%, respectively. Implications of the study’s findings are given.
Protecting gamblers from problematic gambling behavior is a major concern for clini-cians, researchers, and gambling regulators. Most gambling operators offer a range of so-called responsible gambling tools to help players better understand and control their gambling behavior. One such tool is voluntary self-exclusion, which allows players to block themselves from gambling for a self-selected period. Using player tracking data from three online gambling platforms operating across six countries, this study empirically investigated the factors that led players to self-exclude. Specifically, the study tested (i) which behavioral features led to future self-exclusion, and (ii) whether monetary gambling intensity features (i.e., amount of stakes, losses, and deposits) additionally improved the prediction. A total of 25,720 online gamblers (13% female; mean age = 39.9 years) were analyzed, of whom 414 (1.61%) had a future self-exclusion. Results showed that higher odds of future self-exclusion across countries was associated with a (i) higher number of previous voluntary limit changes and self-exclusions, (ii) higher number of different payment methods for deposits, (iii) higher average number of deposits per session, and (iv) higher number of different types of games played. In five out of six countries, none of the monetary gambling intensity features appeared to affect the odds of future self-exclusion given the inclusion of the aforementioned behavioral variables. Finally, the study examined whether the identified behavioral variables could be used by machine learning algorithms to predict future self-exclusions and generalize to gambling populations of other countries and operators. Overall, machine learning algorithms were able to generalize to other countries in predicting future self-exclusions.
Loot boxes are quasi-gambling virtual products in video games that provide randomised rewards of varying value. Previous studies in Western contexts have identified a positive correlation between loot box purchasing and problem gambling severity. A preregistered survey of People’s Republic of China (PRC) video game players ( N = 879) failed to replicate this correlation. We observed statistically significant but weak positive correlations between loot box expenditure and past-year gambling participation, and between loot box expenditure and impulsiveness. This study cannot prove that loot boxes are not disproportionately purchased by people with problem gambling symptomatology in the PRC or that PRC players are not potentially at risk of loot box-related harms. Instead, the evidence suggests that the relationship between loot boxes and gambling might be weaker in the PRC than in Western countries. We identified multiple unique factors about the PRC that might be affecting this relationship. For example, the lotteries are the only legally permitted form of gambling. More gamified electronic gambling products are unavailable. The limited availability of gambling meant that a low level of gambling participation ( n = 87) was observed, which is a limitation of this study. Additionally, the PRC is presently the only country to legally require loot box probability disclosures as a consumer protection measure. Most loot box purchasers (84.6%) reported seeing loot box probability disclosures, but only 19.3% of this group reported consequently spending less money. Most loot box purchasers (86.9%) thought that pity-timers, which increase the winning probabilities of obtaining rarer rewards, are appropriate for implementation. Future loot box research should give greater consideration to differing cultural contexts and novel consumer protection measures.
Scratch cards—otherwise known as scratch tickets or instant lotteries—are a highly accessible type of lottery, due to its relative accessibility and affordability. In Portugal, the popularity of scratch cards has experienced substantial growth, with almost no regulatory reaction whatsoever. This study aims to describe the sociodemographic characteristics of scratch card gamblers, prevalent gambling habits, and their perceptions regarding scratch card gambling. This study also determines the constancy of pathological scratch card gambling, and the possible impact of regulatory measures. We found that about half of the participants studied were at risk of pathological gambling and scratch cards seem to have a clear potential for enticing higher spending in vulnerable consumers, compared to other forms of gambling games. Perception biases regarding gambling are frequent and almost no one afflicted seeks help. Regulatory measures are crucial to regulate potential problematic behaviors, specifically in high-risk persons. There is an urgent need to act, made clear by both present findings and numerous precedent warnings regarding scratch card gambling hazards.
Gambling Disorder (GD) is a prominent psychiatric disorder affecting individuals worldwide. Research suggests that key risk factors for GD include stressful life events (SLEs) and specific psychological factors, such as gambling-related cognitive distortions. The present study investigated the potential mediating role of specific psychological factors (i.e., gambling-related cognitive distortions, difficulty in emotion regulation, and self-control) in the relationship between SLEs and GD. A cross-sectional study using an online survey was developed to investigate the relationship between SLEs and GD in a mediation model. A total of 516 participants were initially recruited online to the present study, and data from 290 participants were fully included in the statistical analyses conducted. Sociodemo-graphic and gambling-related data were collected in addition to data related to participants' SLEs, GD, gambling-related cognitive distortions, difficulty in emotion regulation, and self-control. The results of the parallel multiple mediation analysis conducted found that gambling-related cognitive distortions and difficulty in emotion regulation mediated the relationship between SLEs events and GD. However, self-control was not found to mediate this relationship. The findings suggest that individuals who experience SLEs may be more vulnerable to the development of GD through their belief in gambling-related cognitive distortions and experience of difficulty regulating their emotions. Implications regarding potential preventive efforts for GD are discussed.
Measuring the phenomenon of gambling and Internet addiction, with analysis of attitudes and psychophysical consequences among nurses working in different care settings.
An observational, cross sectional, multicenter study was conducted from April to September 2020. Participants’ socio-demographic information, the “Internet Addiction Test” (IAT) scale, and the “South Oaks Gambling Screen” (SOGS) were collected in order to assess the overuse of and whether an individual has a problematic relationship with gambling, respectively.
502 nurses were enrolled in the study. Significant correlations were found (p < .001) between the IAT score and gender, number of years of work experience, job role, educational qualification; and between the SOGS and gender, number of years of work experience, job role and regions of Italy.
The study highlighted an emerging social problem, and the results may be just the tip of the iceberg. Given the lack of knowledge of these phenomena and a high percentage of people who suffer from them but are afraid to admit it and get help, this study could also be useful in expanding knowledge and allow more professionals to get help and learn about possible treatments and cures for the resolution of these addictions.
Technological advancements and worldwide television exposure led to a poker boom in the early 2000s, and poker (both live and online) has retained some of that popularity today. The present study examined online poker playing trends based on actual electronic betting records data for 2489 subscribers to a major global internet gambling operator from 2015 to 2017. We found that overall financial involvement (median total overall spend: €439.7) and time commitment (median number of sessions: 43) during the two-year study period were relatively moderate. We identified the top 1% by total overall spend as a subgroup of highly involved players with disproportionately higher financial involvement (median total overall spend: €272,581.4) and time commitment (median number of sessions: 1149). Our results were similar to those reported in LaPlante et al.’s (Comput Hum Behav 25(3):711–717, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2008.12.027) study of online poker betting records, suggesting that players’ levels of involvement are similar to those from ten years ago despite numerous changes to the online poker environment. We also analyzed records of deposits and withdrawals, and we observed similar indicators of moderate gambling behavior within the overall sample (median two-year total amount deposited: €176.4). In contrast to popular beliefs about internet gambling, in our sample, most online poker play was arguably moderate. However, a small percentage of highly involved players play poker at extreme levels and require closer scrutiny.
Gambling can cause significant harms and these can result in a net negative utility from participation, although lower levels of participation have potential benefits and can yield positive net utility. It is therefore important to understand and distinguish between these two stages of gambling behaviour. Currently, economic models have had limited focus on explaining why someone would gamble despite it yielding a negative utility. Here, we present a two-stage model, motivated by empirical literature and intuitive assumptions, that improves on existing economic models by distinguishing between the likelihood of gambling participation and of gambling that yields a negative utility. The model’s predictions are empirically testable, consistent with existing literature, and add new insights. The model’s ability to distinguish between the two stages helps to inform interventions that aim to reduce the prevalence of gambling-related harm while avoiding the need for restrictive approaches that aim to eliminate gambling altogether.
In recent years researchers have emphasized the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms as a tool to detect problem gambling online. AI algorithms require a training dataset to learn the patterns of a prespecified group. Problem gambling screens are one method for the collection of the necessary input data to train AI algorithms. The present study’s main aim was to identify the most significant behavioral patterns which predict self-reported problem gambling. In order to fulfil the aim, the study analyzed data from a sample of real-world online casino players and matched their self-report (subjective) responses concerning problem gambling with the participants’ actual (objective) gambling behavior. More specifically, the authors were given access to the raw data of 1,287 players from a European online gambling casino who answered questions on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) between September 2021 and February 2022. Random forest and gradient boost machine algorithms were trained to predict self-reported problem gambling based on the independent variables (e.g., wagering, depositing, gambling frequency). The random forest model predicted self-reported problem gambling better than gradient boost. Moreover, problem gamblers showed a distinct pattern with respect to their gambling based on the player tracking data. More specifically, problem gamblers lost more money per gambling day, lost more money per gambling session, and deposited money more frequently per gambling session. Problem gamblers also tended to deplete their gambling accounts more frequently compared to non-problem gamblers. A subgroup of problem gamblers identified as being at greater harm (based on their response to PGSI items) showed even higher values with respect to the aforementioned gambling behaviors. The study showed that self-reported problem gambling can be predicted by AI algorithms with high accuracy based on player tracking data.
Conscious selection is the mental process by which lottery players select numbers nonrandomly. In this paper, we show that the number 19, which has been heard, read, seen, and googled countless times since March 2020, has become significantly less popular among Belgian lottery players after the World Health Organization named the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 “COVID-19”. We argue that the reduced popularity of the number 19 is due to its negative association with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study triangulates evidence from field data from the Belgian National Lottery and survey data from a nationally representative sample of 500 Belgian individuals. The field data indicate that the number 19 has been played significantly less frequently since March 2020. However, a potential limitation of the field data is that an unknown proportion of players selects numbers randomly through the “Quick Pick” computer system. The survey data do not suffer from this limitation and reinforce our previous findings by showing that priming an increase in the salience of COVID-19 prior to the players’ selection of lottery numbers reduces their preference for the number 19. The effect of priming is concentrated amongst those with high superstitious beliefs, further supporting our explanation for the reduced popularity of the number 19 during the COVID-19 pandemic.