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Objectives The aim of this study is to look at an Irish population in relation to the online gambling activities people are engaging with, the reasons for gambling online, their attitudes to online gambling and the financial/mental health consequences of online gambling. Methods The outline for this study was adapted from a study by McCormack et al . (2014) in relation to online gambling, with the aim of replicating this study in an Irish population. An online survey consisting of 11 categories related to online gambling was advertised online over a 7-month period. Participants answered on activities gambled online, devices used, duration of time gambling, as well mental health/financial consequences of their gambling. Results A total of 208 users participated in the online survey. The most popular gambling activity played was Sports Betting (26.9%) and the most commonly used device was Mobile app (68.6%). The main reason for gambling online was ‘To win money’ (84.6%), the main reason for ending gambling sessions – ‘Had something else to do’ (67.3%) and the most prominent emotion experienced – Excitement (60.6%). There were findings related to the severity of gambling addiction (75% – had to borrow or sell to fund gambling) and their attitudes towards online gambling (strongly agreed – 39.9% – The potential dangers of gambling should be advertised). Conclusions Online gamblers in Ireland share similar behavioural profiles to online gamblers in the United Kingdom and worldwide. The majority of participants in this research have been adversely affected from both a mental and financial perspective due to their gambling behaviours.
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A national survey of online gambling behaviours
D. Columb
and C. OGara
St John of Gods Hospital, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, Ireland
Addictions Department, St John of Gods Hospital, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, Ireland; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin,
Dublin, Ireland
Objectives. The aim of this study is to look at an Irish population in relation to the online gambling activities people are
engaging with, the reasons for gambling online, their attitudes to online gambling and the nancial/mental health
consequences of online gambling.
Methods. The outline for this study was adapted from a study by McCormack et al. (2014) in relation to online gambling,
with the aim of replicating this study in an Irish population. An online survey consisting of 11 categories related to online
gambling was advertised online over a 7-month period. Participants answered on activities gambled online, devices used,
duration of time gambling, as well mental health/nancial consequences of their gambling.
Results. A total of 208 users participated in the online survey. The most popular gambling activity played was Sports
Betting (26.9%) and the most commonly used device was Mobile app (68.6%). The main reason for gambling online was
To win money(84.6%), the main reason for ending gambling sessions –‘Had something else to do(67.3%) and the most
prominent emotion experienced Excitement (60.6%). There were ndings related to the severity of gambling addiction
(75% had to borrow or sell to fund gambling) and their attitudes towards online gambling (strongly agreed 39.9%
The potential dangers of gambling should be advertised).
Conclusions. Online gamblers in Ireland share similar behavioural proles to online gamblers in the United Kingdom
and worldwide. The majority of participants in this research have been adversely affected from both a mental and
nancial perspective due to their gambling behaviours.
Received 18 July 2017; Revised 26 September 2017; Accepted 27 September 2017
Key words: Gambling, humans, internet, surveys and questionnaires.
Over the last 20 years, we have seen an exponential rise
in the content that we can access almost instantaneously
via the internet and gambling is no exception. Online
gambling has proven to be a popular activity, with the
British Gambling Prevalence Study 2010 showing that
14% of participants surveyed had used the internet to
gamble in the past year (Wardle et al. 2011).
There are many reasons why online gambling has
gained popularity for some over conventional gambling,
such as permanent availability, anonymity and increased
speed of play (Barrault & Varescon, 2016). The ability to
gamble from the comfort of your own home has also
been cited as a reason to gamble online (King & Barak,
1999). Indeed, these improvements in accessibility and
ease of betting are some of the reasons why online gam-
bling can be more addictive than conventional gambling,
especially in young gamblers (Chóliz, 2016).
This is of concern as this addictive nature could lead to
an increase in the incidence and prevalence of problem
gambling. Problem gambling is an urge to gamble
despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to
stop (Jazaeri & Habil, 2012). There are many factors
that could indicate problem gambling amongst online
gamblers. Participants that engaged in two or more
activities online or in certain activities, such as live action
sports betting or poker, were more likely to be problem
gamblers (McCormack et al. 2013; LaPlante et al. 2014).
Also, participants that owned multiple online accounts
were more involved gamblers and engaged in gambling
more frequently with higher rates of gambling problems
(Gainsbury et al. 2015). Interestingly, multiple account
holders engaged with websites based on price, betting
options and payout rates versus legality and consumer
protection features that would be characteristic of single
account holders (Gainsbury et al. 2015). In addition, there
is evidence that use of state licensed websites for online
gambling cause less overall harm (Costes et al. 2016) and
that rates of sub-clinical disordered gambling were
higher in environments with less strict regulation of
advertising for online gambling (Planzer et al. 2014).
There is also a large body of evidence looking at the
effect that problem gambling can have on mental health
(Scholes-Balog & Hemphill, 2012). Responsible gamblers
tend to use gambling as a leisure activity whereas pro-
blem gamblers try and use gambling as a way of
* Address for correspondence: Dr C. OGara, Addictions Depart-
ment, St John of Gods Hospital, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, Ireland.
Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, page 1 of 9. © College of Psychiatrists of Ireland 2017 ORIGINAL RESEARCH
modifying their current mood state (Wood & Grifths,
2015). Problem gamblers reported negative mood states
after gambling online and negative mood states in general
(King & Barak, 1999). In line with multiple account users,
people engaging in multiple gambling activities online
had the highest prevalence of mental health disorder
(Lloyd et al. 2010b) and online gamblers were more at risk
of alcohol and cannabis misuse (Kairouz et al. 2012;
Scholes-Balog & Hemphill, 2012).
Currently, there is very little information on the
attitudes and behaviours of online gamblers in Ireland.
Therefore, the aim of this survey is to highlight what
online gambling activities people are engaging with
online, their reasons for choosing to gamble online,
their attitudes to online gambling and the consequences
of their online gambling from both a nancial and
mental health perspective.
In total, 209 participants engaged in the online survey;
one participant was excluded as they only answered
demographic questions. Overall 208 participants
responses were analysed. The survey was online from
December 2014 to June 2015 and was advertised online
and with general media outlets. An information sheet
preceded taking the survey including information on
what the research is about, the reason for conducting
the research, how the data will be used, how privacy of
data will be maintained, the benets and risks of taking
part in the survey, information about if you change
your mind during the survey and nding out about the
results of the survey, along with contact details for
further information. Ethical approval was obtained
from the Human Research Ethics Committee Sciences
based in the UCD Ofce of Research Ethics, Roebuck
Castle, University College Dublin, Beleld, Dublin 4.
Survey design
The survey consisted of demographic data questions
and 11 main categories of questions related to gambling
adapted from a similar UK study (McCormack et al.
2014). In terms of demographic data, there were ques-
tions on gender, age and county of residence. In terms
of questions related to gambling, there were questions
pertaining to the activities gambled online (poker, sport
betting, horse racing, spread betting, lottery, blackjack,
dog racing, bingo, fruit machine, roulette, instant win
scratch cards). This question was measured on a Likert
scale ranging from neverto most days. The devices
used to gamble online (desktop, mobile app, laptop,
tablet) and duration of time spent gambling, in terms of
average session length and years spent gambling
online, were also measured.
The survey also contained questions regarding rea-
sons for gambling online (to win money, enjoyment,
access, convenience, availability, challenge, bet at own
pace, better value, comfort, bet in play, stimulation,
anonymity, competition, greater exibility in stake size,
free bets, dislike atmosphere in ofine venues, high
speed of play online, safer, escape, ofine venues too far
away, spend less online, multiple games, inuenced by
others, adverts, free practice games and other) and
reasons for ending a gambling session (won a lot of
money, tiredness, frustration, boredom, had something
else to do, lost too much money, reached a target, run
out of money). There was also data collected on the
aspects important to people when choosing a gambling
app or website (recommendations, variety of games,
advertisements, celebrity endorsement, ease of use, free
offers, brand name, graphics, friends use it).
The emotions experienced when gambling online
were also assessed (excitement, happy, no difference,
frustrated, escape, anger, ashamed, empty, lonely,
irritable, relaxed, euphoria, other) as well as the seve-
rity and impact of gambling online has had on the
participant in the previous 12 months (borrowing
money, nancial problems, health problems, gambling
larger amounts, felt that you might have a problem
with gambling, betting more than can afford, criticised
for having a gambling problem, felt guilty about your
gambling, trying to win back lost money). Participants
were also asked about previous treatments, if any, were
received for gambling addiction.
Participants were also asked to answer questions
around statements pertaining to gambling and their
attitude around gambling. These 18 statements have
previously been used in research around gambling and
online gambling (Wardle et al. 2011; McCormack et al.
2014) and answered on a Likert scale ranging from
disagree stronglyto agree strongly.
Descriptive statistics were performed on all 11 ques-
tions pertaining to gambling. The variables included
activities gambled online, device used to gamble online,
reasons for gambling online, duration gambling online,
average gambling session time, severity of gambling,
emotions experienced gambling online, reasons for
choosing website, reasons to end gambling sessions
and attitude statements around gambling.
In total, 209 participants undertook the online survey
(179 male, 30 female); one male was excluded due to
2D. Columb and C. OGara
lling out only their age and gender and no responses
to the survey questions. Participants were asked to
complete 12 survey questions along with information
on gender, age and county of residence. There was
variable uptake for some of the multiple option ques-
tions and these are addressed in the relevant questions
section. Participants from all over Ireland completed
the survey, with 42% of applicants from Dublin.
The mean age of participants was 39 years for males
(S.D.=12.7) and 38.5 years for females (S.D.=14.0), as
shown in Table 1.
Activities gambled online
The most popular activities engaged by males online
were Horse Race Betting (26.9% 56 participants) and
Sports Betting (24.0% 50 participants), with just over
half of the total sample size engaging in these activities
for most days of the week. Both these activities were also
engaged in on a less frequent basis (14 times per month,
<1 per month) by a large proportion of the male and
female population Horse Race Betting (14times
per month 23.6% 49 participants), <1 per month
(19.7% 41 participants) and Sports Betting (14times
per month (26.9% 56 participants), <1 per month
(18.8% 39 participants).
Lottery was not played online with the same freq-
uency (most days) compared with Horse Race Betting
and Sports Betting, but was played by a higher
proportion of males and females on a less frequent basis
(14 times per month (males 21.2% 44 participants,
females 4.3% 9 participants) and <1 per month
(males 22.1% 46 participants, females 4.8% 10 parti-
cipants)). A higher proportion of males also engaged in
Poker on a less frequent basis (14 times per month
(males 9.6% 20 participants) and <1 per month (males
18.8% 39 participants)). Instant Win Scratch Cards,
despite being very infrequently played for most days
of the week, were popular amongst both males and
females on a less frequent basis (14 times per month
(males 5.8% 12 participants, females 1.9% 4 partici-
pants) and <1 per month (males 16.3% 34 partici-
pants, females 2.9% 6 participants)).
The least engaged with activities online were Bingo
(92.8% 193 participants), Fruit Machines (88.5% 184
participants) and Spread Betting (87.5% 182 partici-
pants), with the majority of participants stating they
had never engaged with these games online. The full
list of responses are outlined in Table 2.
Devices used
In total, 188 patients answered questions about the
devices that they use to gamble. Participants were
allowed to select more than one option. Mobile app
(129 participants 68.6%) was the most common device
used to gamble online, followed by laptop (114 parti-
cipants 60.6%) and desktop (82 participants 43.6%).
Tablet was the least commonly used (53 participants
28.2%). 58.5% (110) of participants used more than one
device, with 28.7% (54) using two devices, 17.0% (32)
using three devices and 12.8% (24) using all four
devices listed.
Reasons for gambling online
Participants were advised to select which of the aspects
of the gambling experience listed were important to
them. The total responses for each gambling experience
are listed in Table 3. The most important aspect of the
gambling experience selected was To win money
(84.6%), followed by Enjoyment (76.0%), Access
(71.6%), Convenience (71.2%) and Availability (65.4%).
The least important aspects according to the survey
were Adverts (12.0%) and Free practice games (9.1%).
Duration of gambling session/years gambling online
On average, participants spent 2.8 hours (S.D. 3.3) per
gambling session with female participants spending
more time on average [3.4 hours (S.D. 4.2)] than male
participants. Male participants, however, had a higher
median duration of time spent per gambling session
(3 hours) compared with female participants (1 hour).
The median duration for the total sample was 1.5 hours.
Male participants spent an average duration of 8.0
years (S.D. 5.1) gambling online with a median duration
Table 1. Participant demographics
nAge [Mean (S.D.)]
Male 178 39.0 (12.7)
Female 30 38.5 (14.0)
Total 208 38.9 (12.9)
Antrim 6 Limerick 7
Armagh 3 Longford 1
Carlow 4 Louth 3
Cavan 3 Mayo 7
Clare 3 Meath 9
Cork 13 Monaghan 2
Donegal 1 Offaly 2
Down 2 Roscommon 2
Dublin 89 Sligo 1
Galway 8 Tipperary 5
Kerry 3 Westmeath 3
Kildare 12 Wexford 4
Kilkenny 3 Wicklow 8
Laois 4
A national survey of online gambling behaviours 3
of 7 years. Female participants had spent less years
gambling online, with an average duration of 3.6 years
(S.D. 4.4) and a median duration of 2 years. The total
average years spent gambling was 7.3 years (S.D. 5.2)
and a total median duration of 6 years.
Emotions when gambling online
Participants were asked to select the emotions they feel
when they gamble online. The most experienced emo-
tion during online gambling according to the survey
was Excitement (60.6% 126 participants), followed by
Happy (36.5% 76 participants) and No difference
(31.7% 66 participants). The least experienced emo-
tions were feeling Lonely (13.0% 27 participants),
Empty (13.5% 28 participants) and Ashamed
(14.4% 30 participants). The other responses were as
follows: Frustrated (27.4% 57 participants), Irritable
(24.5% 51 participants), Relaxed (22.6% 47 partici-
pants), Euphoria (21.6% 45 participants), Escape
(19.2% 40 participants), Anger (18.8% 39 partici-
pants) and Other (9.6% 20 participants).
Severity of gambling addiction
Participants were asked to select whether or not the
following statements applied to them as a gauge of the
severity of their online gambling over the past
12 months. 75.0% (156 participants) of participants had
to borrow money or sell to fund their online gambling
participation and 74.5% (155 participants) had experi-
enced nancial problems in their household as a result
of their online gambling. 67.3% (140 participants) also
reported health problems including stress and anxiety
as a result of their online gambling. Trying to win back
money lost the next day was the least selected with
53.4% (111) of the surveyed group. At least 50% of the
participants surveyed identied with at least one of the
statements. The responses to all the statements are lis-
ted in Table 4.
Reasons for selecting website/gambling app
Participants were asked to select one or more reasons why
they would choose a gambling app or website. The most
important reason cited by the participants for choosing a
website was Ease of use (64.4% 134 participants). Other
important reasons were Free offers (31.3% 65 parti-
cipants) and Brand name (28.4% 59 participants) with
Celebrity endorsement (1.9% 4participants)beingthe
least important reason for choosing a gambling app or
website from the options listed. The other responses were
as follows: Graphics (13.5% 28 participants), Friends use
it (13.0% 27 participants), Recommendations (11.1% 23
participants), Variety of games (9.1% 19 participants)
and Advertisements (7.2% 15 participants).
Reasons for ending gambling sessions
Participants were asked to select one or more reasons
why they end their gambling sessions. The most
common reason for ending a gambling session is Had
something else to do(67.3% 140 participants). The
other main reasons for ending a gambling session were
Lost too much money(41.3% 86 participants) and
Reached a target(38.0% 79 participants). Boredom
(26.0% 54 participants), Frustration (27.9% 58 parti-
cipants) and Tiredness (28.8% 60 participants) were
the least common reasons for ending a gambling
session. The other responses were Run out of money
Table 2. Responses to the question –‘How often do you engage in any of the following activities online?
Never [n(%, based on
total n)]
<1 per month [n
(%, based on total n)]
14 times per month [n
(%, based on total n)]
Most days [n(%, based
on total n)]
Horse race betting 47 (22.6) 14 (6.7) 31 (14.9) 10 (4.8) 44 (21.2) 5 (2.4) 56 (26.9) 1 (0.5)
Sports betting 38 (18.3) 18 (8.7) 38 (18.3) 1 (0.5) 52 (25.0) 4 (1.9) 50 (24.0) 0 (0.0)
Dog racing 133 (63.9) 24 (11.5) 28 (13.5) 4 (1.9) 5 (2.4) 1 (0.5) 12 (5.8) 1 (0.5)
Roulette 145 (69.7) 26 (12.5) 19 (9.1) 1 (0.5) 6 (2.9) 1 (0.5) 8 (3.8) 1 (0.5)
Lottery 81 (38.9) 9 (4.3) 46 (22.1) 10 (4.8) 44 (21.2) 9 (4.3) 7 (3.4) 2 (1.0)
Poker 112 (53.8) 25 (12.0) 39 (18.8) 2 (1.0) 20 (9.6) 2 (1.0) 7 (3.4) 1 (0.5)
Spread betting 153 (73.6) 29 (13.9) 13 (6.3) 1 (0.5) 6 (2.9) 0 (0.0) 6 (2.9) 0 (0.0)
Fruit machines 161 (77.4) 23 (11.1) 9 (4.3) 3 (1.4) 4 (1.9) 1 (0.5) 4 (1.9) 2 (1.0)
Blackjack 141 (67.8) 26 (12.5) 28 (13.5) 1 (0.5) 5 (2.4) 1 (0.5) 4 (1.9) 1 (0.5)
Instant Win scratch
128 (61.5) 18 (8.7) 34 (16.3) 6 (2.9) 12 (5.8) 4 (1.9) 4 (1.9) 1 (0.5)
Bingo 169 (81.3) 24 (11.5) 5 (2.4) 4 (1.9) 3 (1.4) 0 (0.0) 1 (0.5) 1 (0.5)
4D. Columb and C. OGara
(37.5% 78 participants) and Won a lot of money
(36.1% 75 participants).
Treatment of gambling behaviour
Participants were asked to choose which treatment
option they had received for gambling behaviour in the
past or if they had never received treatment. In total, six
participants were excluded as they answered both
Neverand a treatment option; 22 participants did not
complete this question in the survey.
The majority of participants surveyed reported that
they had never received treatment for gambling beha-
viour (79.2% 153 participants). Gamblers Anonymous
was the most accessed treatment option (10.3% 20
participants), followed by Counselling (8.8% 17 par-
ticipants) and Medication (1.6% 3 participants). Two
(1.0%) participants had tried all three listed treatments,
8 (4.1%) participants had tried two treatments and 18
(9.3%) participants had tried just one treatment.
Attitude statements
Participants were asked to comment on a number of
statements about online gambling, rating each on a
5-point Likert scale ranging from agree stronglyto
disagree strongly. The responses to each of the
statements are included in Table 5.
The statement that participants agreed most strongly
with was The potential dangers of gambling should be
advertisedwith 39.9% (83 participants) stating that they
Agree Strongly.ThisisfollowedbySome gambling
websites are more trustworthy than others(27.9%
58 participants) and I would prefer to gamble on
websites that regularly tell me how much Ive lost
(26.0% 54 participants). The statements that partici-
pants least agreed with (selected Disagree Strongly)
Table 3. Responses to the question –‘Which of the following aspects
of the gambling experience are important to you?
Gambling experience [n(%, based
on a total n)]
To win money 153 (73.6) 23 (11.1) 176 (84.6)
Enjoyment 138 (66.3) 20 (9.6) 158 (76.0)
Access 131 (63.0) 18 (8.7) 149 (71.6)
Convenience 129 (62.0) 19 (9.1) 148 (71.2)
Availability 123 (59.1) 13 (6.3) 136 (65.4)
Challenge 115 (55.3) 12 (5.8) 127 (61.1)
Bet at own pace 104 (50.0) 11 (5.3) 115 (55.3)
Better value 106 (51.0) 6 (2.9) 112 (53.8)
Comfort 93 (44.7) 12 (5.8) 105 (50.5)
Bet in play 85 (40.9) 8 (3.8) 93 (44.7)
Stimulation 70 (33.7) 11 (5.3) 81 (38.9)
Anonymity 66 (31.7) 12 (5.8) 78 (37.5)
Competition 67 (32.2) 9 (4.3) 76 (36.5)
Greater exibility in stake
64 (30.8) 12 (5.8) 76 (36.5)
Free bets 63 (30.3) 10 (4.8) 73 (35.1)
Dislike atmosphere in
ofine venues
55 (26.4) 7 (3.4) 62 (29.8)
High speed of play online 46 (22.1) 10 (4.8) 56 (26.9)
Safer 49 (23.6) 7 (3.4) 56 (26.9)
Escape 46 (22.1) 8 (3.8) 54 (26.0)
Ofine venues too far
44 (21.2) 8 (3.8) 52 (25.0)
Spend less online 33 (15.9) 9 (4.3) 42 (20.2)
Multiple games 24 (11.5) 9 (4.3) 33 (15.9)
Inuenced by others 19 (9.1) 7 (3.4) 26 (12.5)
Others 20 (9.6) 6 (2.9) 26 (12.5)
Adverts 18 (8.7) 7 (3.4) 25 (12.0)
Free practice games 14 (6.7) 5 (2.4) 19 (9.1)
Table 4. Responses to the question –‘Thinking about the last 12 months
Yes responses [n(%, based on a
total n)]
Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble? 135 (64.9) 21 (10.1) 156 (75.0)
Has gambling caused any nancial problems for you and your household? 134 (64.4) 21 (10.1) 155 (74.5)
Has gambling caused you any health problems including stress and anxiety? 120 (57.7) 20 (9.6) 140 (67.3)
Have you needed to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling of
116 (55.8) 21 (10.1) 137 (65.9)
Have you felt that you might have a problem with gambling? 113 (54.3) 21 (10.1) 134 (64.4)
Have you bet more than you could really afford to lose? 110 (52.9) 19 (9.1) 129 (62.0)
Have people criticised your betting or told you that you had a gambling problem regardless of
whether or not you thought it was true?
109 (52.4) 17 (8.2) 128 (61.5)
Have you felt guilty about the way you gamble or what happens when you gamble? 103 (49.5) 20 (9.6) 123 (59.1)
When you gambled, did you go back another day to try and win the money you lost? 94 (45.2) 17 (8.2) 111 (53.4)
A national survey of online gambling behaviours 5
were I am attracted by the sound effects on gambling
websites(40.4% 84 participants), I am attracted by the
graphics on gambling websites(27.4% 57 parti-
cipants) and I prefer online games with large jackpots
(23.1% 48 participants).
The aim of this study was to examine online gambling
from an Irish perspective; to examine what online
activities people are engaging with, their reasons for
choosing to gamble online, their attitudes to online
gambling and the consequences of their online
gambling from both a nancial and mental health pers-
pective. As stated previously, this study was adapted
from a previous study conducted by McCormack et al.
(2014), with the aim of replicating this study in an Irish
population. The majority of the respondents were
male (85.6%) which is largely similar to other studies
conducted on this topic (Wardle et al. 2011; Wood &
Williams, 2009).
Females tended to spend more time on average in
a typical gambling session compared with males, which
is surprising given that previous studies have shown
that females tend to spend less time per session
(McCormack et al. 2014) than males. However, if we
look at the median hours spent gambling, females are
spending 1 hour per session compared with males
spending 3 hours per session. This would correlate with
other studies suggesting that females were signicantly
more likely to gamble for less than 1 hour per session
compared with males (McCormack et al. 2014).
The difference in the average values for females
may be reected in the small sample size obtained.
Females were also noted to have been gambling
online for a much shorter duration of time than males
(females median 2 years v. males median 7 years).
This would correlate with previous studies which show
that females generally start gambling at a later
stage than their male counterparts, which would lead to
a shorter duration of years gambling overall (Slutske
et al. 2015).
Table 5. Responses to the question –‘How do you feel about the following statements?
Agree strongly
[n(%)] Agree [n(%)]
Neither agree nor
disagree [n(%)]
strongly [n(%)]
The potential dangers of gambling should be
83 (39.9) 75 (36.1) 20 (9.6) 3 (1.4) 5 (2.4)
Some gambling websites are more trustworthy
than others
58 (27.9) 59 (28.4) 50 (24.0) 12 (5.8) 16 (7.7)
I would prefer to gamble on websites that regularly
tell me how much Ive lost
54 (26.0) 69 (33.2) 47 (22.6) 12 (5.8) 15 (7.2)
Online gambling is more addictive than ofine
50 (24.0) 59 (28.4) 52 (25.0) 19 (9.1) 8 (3.8)
I would prefer to gamble on websites that regularly
tell me how long I have been playing
40 (19.2) 50 (24.0) 69 (33.2) 17 (8.2) 18 (8.7)
It is easy for children to gamble online 40 (19.2) 56 (26.9) 47 (22.6) 29 (13.9) 16 (7.7)
Gambling advertisements do not inuence my
gambling behaviour
40 (19.2) 51 (24.5) 57 (27.4) 25 (12.0) 14 (6.7)
I would prefer to gamble on websites that have
information about responsible gambling
38 (18.3) 42 (20.2) 86 (41.3) 16 (7.7) 21 (10.1)
I prefer online games with some element of skill 33 (15.9) 42 (20.2) 59 (28.4) 21 (10.1) 31 (14.9)
I tend to spend more gambling using virtual money
(online) than gambling using real money
31 (14.9) 29 (13.9) 43 (20.7) 38 (18.3) 46 (22.1)
I prefer gambling activities that are quick 28 (13.5) 40 (19.2) 62 (29.8) 28 (13.5) 34 (16.3)
I prefer online games that are easy to learn 20 (9.6) 22 (10.6) 74 (35.6) 28 (13.5) 47 (22.6)
If I nearly win in an online game, then I am more
likely to play again
20 (9.6) 49 (23.6) 55 (26.4) 32 (15.4) 30 (14.4)
Online gambling is safe 17 (8.2) 43 (20.7) 41 (19.7) 48 (23.1) 45 (21.6)
I like to gamble against other people online 17 (8.2) 33 (15.9) 48 (23.1) 46 (22.1) 46 (22.1)
I prefer online games with large jackpots 16 (7.7) 26 (12.5) 67 (32.2) 35 (16.8) 48 (23.1)
I am attracted by the graphics on gambling
15 (7.2) 31 (14.9) 51 (24.5) 41 (19.7) 57 (27.4)
I am attracted by the sound effects on gambling
7 (3.4) 8 (3.8) 47 (22.6) 48 (23.1) 84 (40.4)
6D. Columb and C. OGara
There was a tendency towards activities with a live
action component. Examples such as horse racing,
sports betting and dog racing were the most popular
among regular (most days) and non-regular gamblers
(14 times per month and <1 per month), which
suggests the live action component may contribute to
the enjoyment of these activities. This is in line with
previous studies (McCormack et al. 2014; Hing et al.
2016) which identied these activities as the main
gambling activities engaged in by males.
Females tended to be non-regular gamblers com-
pared with male gamblers and engage in more socially
acceptable forms of gambling, such as playing the
lottery or using instant win scratch cards. Females
have been shown to engage more in these activities
compared with their male counterparts (McCormack
et al. 2014; Hing et al. 2016) and, interestingly, use of
instant win scratch cards in females is associated with
an increased risk of problem gambling (Hing et al. 2016).
Accessibility appears to play a key role in the use of
online gambling amongst the participants surveyed.
There is evidence from previous studies that there is a
relationship between the availability of gambling
opportunities online and increased levels of related
problems (Gainsbury, 2015). When asked about what
aspects of the gambling experience were most impor-
tant to them, most participants (both male and female)
stated that the main aspect of the gambling experience
that was important for them was winning money.
However, both males and females tended to highly
value similar aspects of the gambling experience related
to accessibility, namely enjoyment, access and conveni-
ence. This is also reected in the ndings related to
choosing a website where ease of use was noted as the
most important factor when choosing a gambling app
or website for both males and females in our survey.
It is interesting to note that mobile apps were also
the most commonly used device, which would
intuitively be the easiest to access compared with
computers or tablets.
As stated before, participants valued the enjoyment
of the experience as one of the most important aspects
of the gambling experience, with 76.0% of our study
participants citing it as a reason to gamble online.
Enjoyment has also been noted as a frequently cited
reason for gambling online in other studies, with other
studies citing gures between 48.7% (McCormack et al.
2014) and 59.9% (Goldstein et al. 2016) of all partici-
pants. Following on from this, participants were asked
about the emotions they experience when gambling
online. The results were mainly positive emotions,
with the majority of participants stating that they feel
excitement and happiness while gambling. Interest-
ingly, the next most common emotion experienced was
that participants felt no difference when gambling
online, followed then by primarily negative emotions
such as frustration and irritability. We know from
previous studies that gambling to relieve negative mood
states increases the likelihood of problem gambling
(Blaszczynski & Nower, 2002; Matthews et al. 2009;
Nower & Blaszczynski, 2010), which may indicate
problem gamblers identifying with these emotions in
our study.
The main reason for ending a gambling session was
that the participant had something else to do, with the
majority (67.3%) of participants stating this as the main
reason. This nding would correlate with previous
studies (McCormack et al. 2014). However, boredom is
frequently cited in other studies as a main reason to
end gambling sessions (McCormack et al. 2014;
Goldstein et al. 2016) and was cited as one of the least
common reasons in this study. Problem gamblers
have been shown to use gambling as a means to escape
boredom (Lloyd et al.2010a) and the alternative nding
in these studies may reect the higher number
of regular gamblers (>4 times per month) in these
studies compared with our survey.
As mentioned earlier, the majority of participants
stated that ease of use was the most important factor
when choosing a gambling website. The other factors
people identied were free offers advertised and the
brand name gambling websites. The participants in
the study also stated that they nd some gambling
websites more trustworthy than others, and this may be
a large factor into deciding to choose the brand name
websites over other websites. Females were also more
likely to use a website if their friends recommended it,
which has also been found in previous studies
(McCormack et al. 2014).
This survey also looked at the severity and impact of
online gambling in their lives. The questions listed in
the survey were taken from the Problem Gambling
Severity Index (PGSI), a widely used nine item scale for
measuring the severity of gambling problems in the
general population (Currie et al. 2013). The majority of
people surveyed identied with at least one of the
statements listed. The most common impact that
gambling had on the participants lives was nancial,
followed by signicant mental health difculties,
indicating the presence of problem gambling. This is
also reected internationally as only 24.3% of patients
in a recent study by McCormack et al. were identied
as non-problem gamblers, according to the PGSI
(McCormack et al. 2014).
Most of the participants surveyed have never taken
part in any treatment for their gambling behaviours.
We know from previous studies that land based
gamblers are more likely to acknowledge the need for
treatment for gambling addiction (Blaszczynski et al.
2016) compared with online users. Around 80% of all
A national survey of online gambling behaviours 7
participants have never sought any treatment for a
gambling problem. This contrasts with the 64.4% of
participants that felt that they may have a problem with
gambling. This would suggest that, while the majority
of participants can recognise they have a problem, few
are seeking help and treatment for this.
The participants in this survey were also asked
about their attitudes and beliefs in relation to online
gambling. Most participants agreed with statements
that would help minimise the harmful effect of online
gambling, such as wanting the potential dangers of
online gambling advertised and websites to state how
long someone has been playing or how much they have
lost. The participants also stated that that they felt
that online gambling was more addictive than ofine
gambling and that some gambling websites are more
trustworthy than others. This level of agreement would
suggest that online gamblers would welcome certain
restrictions and warning on gambling websites in order
to minimise the impact they can potentially have.
The participants tended to disagree that they were
attracted to websites by the sound effects or graphics.
This would support the suggestion that online
gamblers generally are not attracted to the physical
appearance of the site or other commonly used
methods to entice people to a website including cele-
brity endorsement. This nding would be in line with
other previous studies (McCormack et al. 2014).
There are some limitations identied in this study.
Given that this is a self-report online study, it may be
difcult to interpret the results as problem gamblers have
been shown to have difculty estimating their gambling
experiences, especially the gamblers with higher losses
(Auer & Grifths, 2016). Ideally this study would
also look for signicant differences between genders.
However, given the low overall number of female parti-
cipants, the study would not yield accurate statistical
differences. Further, large-scale studies would be needed
to identify gender differences in relation to online gam-
bling. There is also a risk of selection bias with this online
survey, given that it is more likely to attract online gam-
blers with some strong opinions around online gambling,
as well as some insight into their gambling difculties.
In conclusion, this survey has shown that online
gamblers in Ireland share similar behavioural
proles to online gamblers in the United Kingdom and
worldwide. There are many people in Ireland suffering
from nancial and mental health difculties related to
online gambling and there is a desire amongst this
cohort to have the dangers of online gambling adver-
tised on these websites in order to limit the damage
they can cause. We have identied different factors that
contribute to problems with online gambling such as
the emotions experienced during online gambling and
the reasons for starting and ending online gambling
sessions. Further studies are needed to explore these
ndings and their usefulness as possible targets for
intervention to reduce levels of problem gambling.
The authors wish to acknowledge the contribution of
Dr Emma McAdams, who contributed to the format-
ting of results of the survey, as well as Dr Barbara
Dooley who contributed to the study design and
request for ethical approval.
Financial Support
This research received no specic grant from any
funding agency, commercial or not-for-prot sectors.
Conicts of Interest
The authors declare that there are no conicts of
Ethical Standards
The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this
work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant
national and institutional committee on human experi-
mentation with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as
revised in 2008. The study protocol was approved by the
ethic committee of UCD Ofce of Research Ethics, Roe-
buck Castle, University College Dublin, Beleld, Dublin 4.
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... In addition to structural characteristics of gambling formats, gambling behavior is motivated by a number of interrelated psychological and social factors (Lloyd et al., 2010). Some researchers described winning money, need for enjoyment and demonstrating skills as frequent reasons to gamble online, in opposition to land-based gambling, which seems to be motivated by social reasons and desire for excitement (Columb & O'Gara, 2018;Goldstein et al., 2016). Again, though, these studies do not assess what might lead someone who gambles in land-based venues to migrate toward online gambling. ...
... As noted in the introduction, cross-sectional studies have shown that online gambling may be motivated by the desire to win money, need for enjoyment, and the desire to demonstrate or develop one's skills (Columb & O'Gara, 2018;Goldstein et al., 2016). Our longitudinal analyses reveal certain nuances to these results. ...
Full-text available
Online gambling is associated with higher levels of problem gambling and an array of adverse mental health characteristics. No longitudinal study has identified factors that lead people who gamble in land-based venues to migrate toward online gambling, keeping accessibility to land-based venues constant (i.e., not in the context of a pandemic lockdown). This study involved 3,753 Canadian adults who gambled but not online. One year later, 367 had started gambling online, falling into three groups - lottery players, sports betters, and casino players. Mental health, substance use, gambling motivations, and gambling involvement intensity assessed at both time-points, were used as prospective and concurrent predictors of follow-up online gambling. Results distinguished risk factors that precede the migration to online gambling from those that may appear concurrently. Males with substance use disorders and females with anxiety disorders and who gamble to escape are particularly likely to migrate to riskier forms of gambling.
... Sports gambling is one of the most prevalent forms of online gambling and the most common form of gambling listed in the most recent UK Gambling Commission annual survey (Gambling Commission 2019). In Ireland, a national survey of online gambling behaviors found 'Horse race betting' and 'Sports betting' accounted for over 50% of the participants gambling daily online (Columb & O'Gara 2018). Betting on sports can be an integral part of the economics of the sport as evidenced by an exemption from a voluntary ban on 'whistle-to-whistle' advertising during live sport being applied to horse racing due to the 'commercial importance of gambling on its viability' (Conway 2018). ...
... However, there is no date set for the establishment of this regulator (Bray 2019). There have also been concerns expressed by Irish gamblers in relation to gambling advertising, with 76% stating that the dangers of gambling should be advertised (Columb & O'Gara 2018). Currently, there are no data relating to the amount of gambling advertisements shown during live sporting events in Ireland or the characteristics of these gambling advertisements, including responsible gambling messaging. ...
Objectives There are no data relating to gambling advertisements shown during live sporting events in Ireland. The aim of the present study was to analyze gambling advertisements shown during live sporting events broadcast in Ireland and to assess these advertisements for responsible gambling (RG) practices. Methods Sixty-five live televised sporting events comprising Association Football (soccer), Rugby Union, and Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) matches broadcast in Ireland were analyzed. Pre-match (up to 30 minutes before kick-off), half-time, and post-match (up to 30 minutes after the match has ended) advertisement breaks were analyzed for gambling advertisements, including in-game fixed (static advertising) and dynamic (electronic advertisements changing at regular intervals) pitch-side advertising. Gambling advertisements were studied for evidence of RG practices. Results A total of 3602 television advertisements, 618 dynamic advertisements, and 394 static advertisements were analyzed. Gambling advertisements were shown in 75.4% ( n = 49) games and were the seventh most commonly televised advertisement shown overall. Gambling advertising was more common in football (fourth most common advertisement) compared to rugby (12th most common) and GAA (13th most common). Static and dynamic gambling advertising were common during football matches (second and first most common advertisements, respectively). The majority of advertisements contained RG messaging, an age limit, and an RG organization. No advertisements showing responsible gambling tools were observed. Conclusions Gambling advertisements are commonly shown during live televised sporting broadcasts in Ireland, especially during live football matches and typically before the adult television watershed. Gambling legislation is required to minimize harm to vulnerable groups including children.
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... The results showed that e-gambling was more popular with men than women, and that interest decreases with age. These data are confirmed by studies conducted in other countries [26,37]. Additionally, online gambling was more popular among those with incomes lower than the national average salary than those with incomes equal to or higher than the national average wage. ...
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This study estimated the levels of involvement in e-gambling and problem e-gambling in Poland and identified selected sociodemographic variables associated with e-gambling activities. The study was conducted using a representative sample of the adult inhabitants of Poland (n = 2000). The survey contained questions measuring three aspects of gambling (involvement in e-gambling, types of e-gambling activity, and problematic e-gambling). Results suggested that 4.1% of respondents were involved in e-gambling and 26.8% of them could be classified as problem gamblers. The most popular e-gambling games were lotteries and sports betting. Gender, age, size of city of residence, level of education, and income were identified as significant predictors of involvement in e-gambling. The results indicated that men, younger people, and people who earnt less were more often involved in e-gambling. Having children, playing online scratch cards, and online sport betting—but not online lotteries—turned out to be typical for problem online gamblers. The prevalence of problem gambling among Polish e-gamblers suggests that extended research in this area is needed.
... The increased accessibility and portability afforded by use of smartphones and the Reddit app on smartphones to access the internet and FF information is the most likely reason for this finding. The ease of accessibility to the internet via these means increases exposure to the internet and could increase the risk of developing internet addiction (Griffiths et al. 2016) and other behavioural addictions such as gambling addiction (Columb and O'Gara 2018). ...
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The aim of the present study was to ascertain the levels of possible internet addiction within fantasy football (FF) (soccer) participants and the characteristics of the participants within this group. An online survey of questions regarding characteristics of regular FF participants and consumption of FF-related content was posted on FF internet forums (Reddit and Self-selecting participants (N = 684) completed the survey containing questions on FF (time spent during weekdays/weekend on FF, gambling on FF, devices used to access FF), internet use (time spent on internet on weekdays/weekends) and an internet addiction screening questionnaire (Chen Internet Addiction Scale). Subgroup analysis was performed on each variable by nationality (Irish, UK and worldwide). Of the 684 participants, 17.5% (diagnostic) and 24.9% (screening) participants met criteria for internet addiction, above the expected level in the general population. The most frequent time spent on FF during weekdays was 30–60 min per day (32.2%) and 1–2 h per day on weekends (29.1%). Over half of participants (50.6%) gambled on FF with the majority (61.3%) gambling once per year and 74.3% of participants gambling less than €50 per year on FF. Avid FF participants demonstrated an increased likelihood of internet addiction compared prevalence rates of previous epidemiological studies among different cohorts. This may be due to FF itself and the increased consumption of FF-related content. Further large-scale nationally representative studies are required to compare regular and casual participants of FF in relation to possible internet addiction.
People with mental health problems are more likely to experience problems due to gambling, an intersection of two sources of social disadvantage. However, the mechanisms by which this occurs remain unclear. Analysing if choices while gambling differ for people with mental health problems, and whether these differences involve characteristics linked with gambling harms, can improve this understanding. Evidence on this is limited because most studies rely on survey questions or aggregate data which are either self-reported, unlikely to allow for identification of separate features of gambling options, or do not observe the full set of options people are choosing between. Discrete Choice Experiments can circumvent these issues by observing the gambling environment and individual's gambling choices. This study uses a Discrete Choice Experiment to analyse people's choices while gambling, and if these differ for people with mental health problems. Participants were offered a series of 6 choice sets representing online gambling on horse racing; each presented two hypothetical horse races, both with eight horses, differing in the information they provided. Participants chose which race (if any) and horse they would bet on. The choices were modelled using mixed logit models. People with mental health problems had (i) a lower preference for betting on races with information about horses' recent form and (ii) preferred betting on horses with higher odds. (i) Could indicate that they put less thought into their bet, a sign of gambling as an escape. (ii) Could indicate that they are more risk seeking. These are two gambling characteristics linked with problems due to gambling and are plausible mechanisms by which people with mental health problems may be more likely to develop problems due to gambling.
With the rapid development of information and communication technology, online gambling has flourished in Taiwan and caused severe social problems. Online gambling is often combined with various crimes, such as organized crime, fraud, and money laundering, severely affecting social security. Moreover, as the exponential development of technology has given rise to many high-tech crime tools, the police force has encountered many investigation challenges. This paper intends to understand crime and investigate the patterns of online gambling websites through case studies. It is found that online gambling operators have invented a sophisticated business model to circumvent police investigations and to facilitate their defense in the future. This paper summarizes and analyzes the modus operandi and police investigation model and puts forward recommendations on the current difficulties for the reference of practical criminal justice personnel.
Objectives Globally, problem gambling prevalence is estimated at between 0.1% and 5.8%. Problem gambling can have many negative consequences; including on physical, and psychological health, and social functioning. There is a need to better understand treatment uptake as only a small proportion seek treatment. This is the first Irish national study using routinely gathered health surveillance data to describe treated problem gambling. Results will inform service policy and planning. Methods An analysis of episodes treated for problem gambling collected by the National Drug Treatment Reporting System was undertaken. Included were episodes entering treatment between 2008 and 2019 ( n = 2999). Variables of interest included service types accessed, demographics, socioeconomic information, referral and assessment details, current problems (up to five) and treatment history. Results The majority (93.8%) were male. One fifth (20.9%) lived with dependent children, 7.4% were homeless. There were high levels of employment (35.4%) and formal education qualifications; half (53.8%) had completed second or third level education. Problem gambling frequently co-occurred with problem use of other substances (47.3%), which was most commonly alcohol (85.6%), followed by cannabis (32.3%), cocaine (28.0%) and benzodiazepines (10.9%). The majority were treated at inpatient settings (56.1%) with many self-referrals (46.3%). Conclusions This study provides insights into treated problem gambling nationally. Monitoring and surveillance can play a crucial role in measuring the successful efforts and help inform planning and treatment. The findings may have implications for treatment pathways.
Развитие современной техники и медиаустройств позволяет оперативно обмениваться разной информацией с большим количеством аудитории за короткое время. Виртуальное пространство привлекает подростков многими факторами, к которым стоит отнести возможность проявить себя, поддерживать общение с друзьями и получать интересную информацию. Вместе с этим существует риск развития зависимости вследствие использования интернет-ресурсов и медиаустройств, что нередко позволяют подростку отвлечься от внутренних переживаний и бытовых проблем. Получение приятных эмоций с помощью виртуального пространства может стать основным источником радостных впечатлений для молодого человека. Однако существует огромное множество рисков, связанных с неконтролируемым использованием современной информационной среды. Подросток может не только лишиться финансовой стабильности и мирного общения с окружающими родственниками, но и стать жертвой насилия с необратимыми последствиями. Именно поэтому важно вовремя и качественно провести диагностику виртуальной зависимости, что призвана помочь в деле предотвращения серьезных проблем психофизического, финансового и социального характера. Стоит обратить особое внимание на проблему возникновения суицидальной активности среди молодых людей, что может быть связана с чрезмерным использованием виртуального пространства и медиатехники (например, смартфонов, планшетов, ноутбуков, игровых приставок и т. д.). Ученые разрабатывают различные методы диагностики виртуальной зависимости, которые способны помочь в определении развития психологических расстройств. Разнообразные опросники и инструментальные методики касаются широкого спектра параметров относительно изучения виртуальной активности подростков. Вместе с этим нужны дальнейшие исследования проблемы виртуальной зависимости среди подростков. The development of modern technology and media devices lets to quickly exchange different information with a large number of audiences in a short time. The virtual space attracts adolescents with many factors that include the ability to express themselves, to keep in touch with friends, and to receive interesting information. At the same time, there is the risk of development of addiction due to the use of Internet resources and media devices, which often lets the adolescent to be distracted from internal experiences and everyday problems. Getting pleasant emotions through the use ofvirtual space can be the major source of joyful impressions for a young person. However, there is a huge number of risks associated with the uncontrolled use of the modern information environment. A teenager can not only lose financial stability and peaceful communication with other relatives, but also become a victim of violence with irreversible consequences. That is why it is important to timely and efficiently diagnose virtual addiction, which can help in preventing serious problems of a psycho-physical, financial, and social nature. It is worth paying special attention to the problem of suicidal activity among young people, which may be associated with excessive use of virtual space and media technology (for example, smartphones, tablets, laptops, game consoles, etc.). Scientists are developing various methods of diagnosing virtual addiction that can help in determination of the development of psychological disorders. A variety of questionnaires and instrumental techniques relate to a wide range of parameters regarding the study of the virtual activity of adolescents. At the same time, further research on the problem of virtual addiction among adolescents is needed.
Although there is a growing interest in understanding the impact of types and patterns of Internet use on individuals of different ages, relatively few studies have fully considered developmental perspectives. This chapter offers an overview of the main findings regarding Internet use and problematic Internet use during stages of development. It includes both behavioral development and neurodevelopment and describes frequently performed online behaviors including social networking, online sex, gambling and gaming, and cyberbullying.
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Many research findings in the gambling studies field rely on self-report data. A very small body of empirical research also suggests that when using self-report, players report their gambling losses inaccurately. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the differences between objective and subjective gambling spent data by comparing gambler’s actual behavioral tracking data with their self-report data over a 1-month period. A total of 17,742 Norwegian online gamblers were asked to participate in an online survey. Of those surveyed, 1335 gamblers answered questions relating to gambling expenditure that could be compared with their actual gambling behavior. The study found that the estimated loss self-reported by gamblers was correlated with the actual objective loss and that players with higher losses tended to have more difficulty estimating their gambling expenditure (i.e., players who spent more money gambling also appeared to have more trouble estimating their expenses accurately). Overall, the findings demonstrate that caution is warranted when using self-report data relating to amount of money spent gambling in any studies that are totally reliant on self-report data.
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Background and aims: Online gambling appears to have special features, such as anonymity, speed of play and permanent availability, which may contribute to the facilitation and increase in gambling practice, potentially leading to problem gambling. The aims of this study were to assess sociodemographic characteristics, gambling practice and impulsive sensation seeking among a population of regular poker players with different levels of gambling intensity and to compare online and live players. Methods: 245 regular poker players (180 online players and 65 live players) completed online self-report scales assessing sociodemographic data, pathological gambling (SOGS), gambling practice (poker questionnaire) and impulsive sensation seeking (ImpSS). We used SOGS scores to rank players according to the intensity of their gambling practice (non-pathological gamblers, problem gamblers and pathological gamblers). Results: All poker players displayed a particular sociodemographic profile: they were more likely to be young men, executives or students, mostly single and working full-time. Online players played significantly more often whereas live players reported significantly longer gambling sessions. Sensation seeking was high across all groups, whereas impulsivity significantly distinguished players according to the intensity of gambling. Discussion: Our results show the specific profile of poker players. Both impulsivity and sensation seeking seem to be involved in pathological gambling, but playing different roles. Sensation seeking may determine interest in poker whereas impulsivity may be involved in pathological gambling development and maintenance. Conclusions: This study opens up new research perspectives and insights into preventive and treatment actions for pathological poker players.
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Background and aims To date, there is a lack of research on psychological factors associated with young adult online gambling. The current study examined differences between young adult online and non-online gamblers, using information gathered at baseline and over 30 days during which participants reported on their moods, gambling behaviors, and reasons for initiating and discontinuing gambling. Methods Participants were 108 young adult regular gamblers (i.e., gambling four or more times in the past month) who participated in a 30-day daily diary study. Results Male gender, baseline coping motives for gambling and negative affect averaged across the 30 days emerged as significant correlates of online gambling, over and above other background variables. Online gamblers also scored higher on a baseline measure of pathological gambling. Over the 30 days of self-monitoring, online gamblers spent more time gambling, and won more money gambling, whereas non-online gamblers consumed more alcohol while gambling. Online gambling was more often initiated to make money, because of boredom and to demonstrate skills, whereas non-online gambling was more often initiated for social reasons and for excitement. Online gambling was more often discontinued because of boredom, fatigue or distress, whereas non-online gambling was discontinued because friends stopped gambling or mood was improved. Discussion and conclusions This study provides preliminary evidence that coping strategies may be particularly important to reduce risks for online gamblers, whereas strategies for non-online gamblers should focus on the social aspects of gambling.
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It is possible that the growth and promotion of online gambling will result in substantially increased use of these types of games in countries where they are legal. This may be especially true for young people due to their interest in such games. In this context, it is important to note that online gambling is more addictive than any other type of game due its structural characteristics, such as immediacy, accessibility, ease of betting, and so on. This study examined the effect of online gambling in Spain 2 years after its legalization. The sample included 1277 pathological gamblers in recovery at 26 gambling addiction treatment centers. Our results showed a significant increase in young pathological gamblers since the legalization of this activity. This is a very relevant issue because, as in the case of Spain, many countries are currently in process of legalization of many types of online games. Scientific research can be useful to adapt the adequate gambling policies in order to prevent the gambling addiction.
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Differences in problem gambling rates between males and females suggest that associated risk factors vary by gender. Previous combined analyses of male and female gambling may have obscured these distinctions. This study aimed to develop separate risk factor models for gambling problems for males and for females, and identify gender-based similarities and differences. It analysed data from the largest prevalence study in Victoria Australia (N = 15,000). Analyses determined factors differentiating non-problem from at-risk gamblers separately for women and men, then compared genders using interaction terms. Separate multivariate analyses determined significant results when controlling for all others. Variables included demographics, gambling behaviour, gambling motivations, money management, and mental and physical health. Significant predictors of at-risk status amongst female gamblers included: 18-24 years old, not speaking English at home, living in a group household, unemployed or not in the workforce, gambling on private betting, electronic gaming machines (EGMs), scratch tickets or bingo, and gambling for reasons other than social reasons, to win money or for general entertainment. For males, risk factors included: 18-24 years old, not speaking English at home, low education, living in a group household, unemployed or not in the workforce, gambling on EGMs, table games, races, sports or lotteries, and gambling for reasons other than social reasons, to win money or for general entertainment. High risk groups requiring appropriate interventions comprise young adults, especially males; middle-aged female EGM gamblers; non-English speaking populations; frequent EGM, table games, race and sports gamblers; and gamblers motivated by escape.
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One of the most significant changes to the gambling environment in the past 15 years has been the increased availability of Internet gambling Internet, including mobile, gambling is the fastest growing mode of gambling and is changing the way that gamblers engage with this activity. Due to the high level of accessibility, immersive interface, and ease at which money can be spent, concerns have been expressed that Internet gambling may increase rates of disordered gambling. The current paper aimed to provide an overview of the research to date as well as highlight new and interesting findings relevant to Internet gambling addiction. A comprehensive review was conducted of existing literature to provide an overview of significant trends and developments in research that relates to disordered Internet gambling. This paper presents research to inform a greater understanding of adult participation in Internet gambling, features of this interface that may impact problem severity, the relationship between Internet gambling and related problems, as well as considering the role of the wider spectrum of gambling behaviour and relevant individual factors that moderate this relationship.
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In 2010 France enacted a law to regulate supply and consumption of online gambling. Its primary aim was to protect citizens from gambling-related harm. This study aims to assess differences in gambling patterns and related harm between online gamblers who use licensed versus unlicensed sites. Participants (N = 3860) completed a self-administered online survey on gambling practices. Pairwise logistic regressions examined the association between the legal statuses of gambling sites people patronized and demographic variables and gambling types. Multivariate logistic regression models explored associations between gambling patterns and related problems according to the legal status of sites people have gambled on. Overall, 53.7 % of online gamblers report gambling exclusively on licensed sites. Those who bet on regulated activities on unlicensed sites, versus licensed sites, are more likely to be female, younger, less educated, inactive in the labor market and are more likely to perceive their financial situation to be difficult. Gambling on unlicensed sites is associated with more intense gambling patterns and more gambling-related problems compared to licensed sites. Findings demonstrate that gambling activities carried out on state licensed sites are associated with less overall harm to gamblers. Implications of these findings on future policy are discussed and prospective research directions are outlined.
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Concerns that Internet gambling has elevated the prevalence of problem gambling have not been substantiated; however, evidence suggests a subgroup of Internet gamblers do experience higher rates of gambling harms. Greater overall involvement in gambling appears to be predictive of harms. The purpose of this study was to examine differences between Internet gamblers with a single or multiple online gambling accounts, including their gambling behaviours, factors influencing their online gambling and risk of experiencing gambling problems. Internet gamblers (3178) responding to an online survey that assessed their gambling behaviour, and use of single or multiple online gambling accounts. Results revealed that multiple account holders were more involved gamblers, gambling on more activities and more frequently, and had higher rates of gambling problems than single account holders. Multiple account holders selected gambling sites based on price, betting options, payout rates and game experience, whereas single account holders prioritized legality and consumer protection features. Results suggest two different types of Internet gamblers: one motivated to move between sites to optimize preferred experiences with a tendency to gamble in a more volatile manner; and a smaller, but more stable group less influenced by promotions and experiences, and seeking a reputable and safe gambling experience. As the majority of Internet gamblers use multiple accounts, more universal responsible gambling strategies are needed to assist gamblers to track and control their expenditure to reduce risks of harm. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.
Although high rates of problem gambling have been identified among Internet gamblers, most studies have failed to identify the relative contribution of multiple forms of gambling as opposed to the exclusive participation in online forms. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in mental health status in exclusive online, exclusive land-based, and mixed Internet and land-based samples of gamblers drawn from the general population. A sample of 4594 respondents completing an online survey were categorised as exclusive online, land-based and mixed form gamblers. Participants completed a questionnaire eliciting demographic details, participation on all forms of gambling, use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, help-seeking, and personal problems experienced due to gambling, as well as measures of problem gambling and psychological distress. Findings indicated that mixed gamblers exhibited higher problem gambling scores, level of gambling involvement, and consumption of alcohol during gambling than exclusive online gamblers. Land-based gamblers experienced higher levels of psychological distress, self-acknowledged need for treatment, and help-seeking behaviour. These findings suggest that exclusive online gamblers represent a different subpopulation at lower risk of harm compared to gamblers engaging in multiple forms. Understanding the characteristics of different problem gambling subpopulations may inform the development of more effective targeted interventions.
This study is one of the first to explore in detail the behaviors, attitudes and motivations of players that show no signs of at-risk or problem gambling behavior (so-called 'positive players'). Via an online survey, 1484 positive players were compared with 209 problem players identified using the Lie/Bet screen. The study identified two distinct groups of positive players defined according to their motivations to play and their engagement with responsible gambling (RG) practices. Those positive players that played most frequently employed the most personal RG strategies. Reasons that positive players gave for gambling were focused on leisure (e.g., playing for fun, being entertained, and/or winning a prize). By contrast, problem gamblers were much more focused upon modifying mood states (e.g., excitement, relaxation, depression and playing when bored or upset). The present study also suggests that online gambling is not, by default, inherently riskier than gambling in more traditional ways, as online gambling was the most popular media by which positive players gambled. Furthermore, most positive players reported that it was easier to stick to their limits when playing the National Lottery online compared to traditional retail purchasing of tickets. Problem players were significantly more likely than positive players to gamble with family and friends, suggesting that, contrary to a popular RG message, social play may not be inherently safer than gambling alone. It is proposed that players (generally) may identify more with the term 'positive play' than the term 'RG' which is frequently interpreted as being aimed at people with gambling problems, rather than all players.