Technical ReportPDF Available

Gambling and Gaming in Belgium: Opportunities and Risks associated with Online Digital Gambling

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

As electronic or e-gambling services widen both the reach and scope of gambling practice, a new generation of gamblers is playing in previously non-existent ways. From related fields we know that behaviors that shift to the Internet change both in form and intensity (i.e. excessive online video gaming), and induce new norms (i.e. the acceptance of porn, sexting, partner-seeking ads). The research on these changes for e-gambling is extremely limited. This means we have very little knowledge regarding the risks and opportunities that e-gambling present. Yet, this information is crucial for responsible gambling efforts. The current study aims to extend our understanding of this shift. It will, first, assess e-gamblers’ perceptions of risks and opportunities. Secondly, it will explore the drivers behind e-gambling behavior, which will aid with targeted (digital) prevention and intervention, and ultimately, contribute to clinical assessment of gambling behavior. Research on traditional gambling has succes
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"Half an hour later, I was still playing. ‘Mom, you realize that is a
gambling addiction right?’ What can you say to that? ‘Don’t do what
mama does, honey’, that’s what I tell her. That’s my role in life. I
show her what not to do."
-- Jenny
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Sample'cleaning'&'reproducibility'
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Break
Demographic'characteristics'
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Carte,*Erotic*games,*Facebook*games,*Farm*Heroes,*Gouden*Tour,*Kingo*Lotto,*
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Interview'1.'Maggy'(63):'casual'gambling'sites'
"I don’t really gamble, but I spend money on scratchcards,
EuroMillions, Presto, the lottery, and play casual online games via
websites for at least four hours per day. I guess other hobbies would
be more fulfilling but I’m unable to change my behavior somehow."
-- Maggy
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Interview'2.'Jane'(31):'poker'player'&'gamer'
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&(!'#&643(&$<J47'I,$47!,#7!V%35(!N3%G!D%G4!,$!94,($!%#4!7,<!M43!V445*!
Online play is a new technique. People use it. But online play also
changes the reach and the target groups of the playing behavior. Think
about the 14 year old high school student who is not doing well in
school, and loses himself in Call of Duty or online poker instead. He
can do that because he is invisible. So that is challenging. Age
control would help too: now it seems that anybody, of any age, can
play.
-- Jane
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Interview'3.'Jenny'(39):'problematic'use'of'online'casinos'
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F,G89&#F!F,G4(*!)4##<!D,(!,!(4I%#7,3<!(ID%%9!74F344*!
"My daughter was learning about addictions recently, and also about
gambling addictions. When she got home from school I was just playing.
She looked at which game I was playing after putting down her backpack
with books down. Half an hour later, I was still playing. ‘Mom, you
realize that is a gambling addiction, right?’. What can you say to
that? ‘Don’t do what mama does, honey’, that’s what I tell her. That’s
my role in life. I show her what not to do.”
-- Jenny
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Interview'4.'Amanda'(29):'regular'bets'on'soccer'matches'
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"I do think some people can lose a lot of money on betting. Especially
with the current levels of advertising. When we watch a soccer match we
see commercials for up to six different gambling sites. We play on
those sites regularly and even we think that’s too much and vulgar.
They also stimulate irresponsible behavior with bonus actions and
special bets.”
-- Amanda
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Interview'5.'Stef'(46):'roulette'player'with'consistent'wins'
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(<($4G,$&I,99<!V&#!?(G,99B!,G%'#$(!%N!G%#4<*!
There’s another risk. I’m divorced, but sometimes I have my little
girl. If I have my girl, I cannot visit casinos. But I CAN keep playing
in an app, which means you are not present for your daughter. It’s not
like you are abusing your child, but you become less active. Now we go
for a walk, go cycling, go see a movie. If you play, you might be angry
about losing 500 Euro and attempt to win back the money. You might put
your child behind the television to watch Disney Channel and start
playing.
-- Stef
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Interview'6'Lara'(25):'casual'scratchcard,'roulette,'and'poker'player'
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I don’t think scratchcards are a form of gambling. Gambling, for me, is
betting a lot of money. It implies that you will play for a lot of
money. Scratchcards are really quite innocent. You have three euro and
you decide to buy a win-for-life. You never know... The physical aspect
is fun.
-- Lara
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Interview'7.'Mike'(32):'group'soccer'bets'and'casino'roulette'
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F3%'M*!
I sometimes refer to the casino roulette play as ‘working’. I woke up
late due to a night shift, drove to the Netherlands, played all night,
and came back home. Done with working. I don’t mind it when people call
me a gambler. Or addicted. I don’t mind being addicted as long as I am
winning.
-- Mike
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Interview'8.'Max'(30):'regular'online'soccer'bets'
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I don’t care about any other gambling game: I have been following
soccer since I was 12 as a hobby; I use this to make it more
interesting. That’s all there is to it.
-- Max
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Interview'9.'James'(40):'casinos,'poker,'and'soccer'bets'
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I’m against online play. You put the cat with the milk. Many young
adults are easily influenced when they can win money. I don’t think
this is a good idea and the control should be stricter. To reach
physical casinos you need to travel and register yourself. With tablets
and apps you can play from your own room.
-- James
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Interview'10.'Eric'(30):'semi-professional'poker'and'soccer'bets'
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For example, have a look at ‘official poker rankings’. If you opt-out
there, they track all your statistics. It’s public information though,
so some good players turn it off. And some people turn it off so that
the tax office does not see it. I just pay my taxes, personally and use
the graph to prove to my parents that I’m not losing money. With the
recent changes to Pokerstars though, I’m not very confident in the
future of online poker. I’ll put more energy into finding a job I
think.
-- Eric
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Interview'11.'Stacy'(53):'problematic'use'of'online'slots'game'
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When I play and lose money I become angry with myself. ‘Caught again!’
and ‘You know it doesn’t work out! So why do I play?’ Even if you win
it’s not entirely positive. Yet somehow I can’t seem to stop playing
online slots games.
-- Stacy
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Interview'12.'Danny'(22):'Betting'on'video'game'matches'(Counter'Strike)'
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The Counter Strike gambling is out of control currently. In the
beginning it was fairly limited, but now it’s everywhere. It’s not
regulated. The minimum age is 13 or 14 according to the site, but we
can’t be sure about that even. It’s too young regardless. If there’s an
8 year old behind this and he or she can use steam… It’s a problem. It
can be risky to have young children encountering gambling like this.
-- Danny
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A[!
Interview'13.'Ben'(35+).'Male'player:'bingo'machine'addiction'
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I’ve seen people in our therapy group that had problems with online
gambling. I’m happy I never started that. It’s too easy. You’re behind
your PC. You get 50 Euro of ‘pretend’ money from Unibet or whatever
other place. I’m so happy I never did that, because it’s the most
dangerous thing you can start with.
-- Ben
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Interview'14.'Rolf'(43):'Retired'professional'poker'player'
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When dealing with online gambling data interpretation is crucial. While
I was training to be a professional I played on a daily basis. From my
profile you might argue that I was problematic, but for me it was
intensive training. Fortunately the people around me understood what I
was doing, but from the data alone you could have misdiagnosed me.
-- Rolf
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[\!
Interview'15.'Marcy'(26):'newspaper'shop'attendant,'scratchcards'&'lotto'
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I think problems are bigger with scratchcards because you know if you
win more immediately. They can start betting again directly. With the
Lotto they have to wait. Some people keep coming back all day long. For
the Lotto you have to take it home and wait for the score.
-- Marcy
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The fastest growing form of gambling in the world is online gambling. That’s why many psychologists suggested the direction of research focused on this area. Some previous studies have suggested that individual psychological characteristics (including personality traits) may predispose certain individuals to overuse the Internet, and past research has chiefly examined the effects of anxiety, aggression, depression and self-consciousness on the level of Internet use so far. In this study we are trying to explore possible correlations and significant differences regarding aggression, anxiety, risk-taking game strategies, number of rounds played and if the player is winning or losing . We have discovered that all these dimensions are strongly interconnected and in further research we will try to explain all this in a clinical spotlight.
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Background and aims: Online gambling participation is increasing rapidly, with relatively little research about the possible effects of different gambling activities on problem gambling behaviour. The aim of this exploratory study was to examine the participation in online gambling activities and the relationship with problem gambling among an international sample of online gamblers. Methods: An online gambling survey was posted on 32 international gam-bling websites and resulted in 1,119 respondents over a four-month period. Results: Poker was the most popular gam-bling activity online. A number of online activities were associated with problem gambling, including: roulette, poker, horse race betting, sports betting, spread betting and fruit (slot) machines. Not surprisingly, those that gam-bled on these activities regularly (except poker) were more likely to be a problem gambler, however, what is interest-ing is that the reverse is true for poker players; those that gambled regularly on poker were less likely to be a problem gambler compared to the non-regular poker players. The majority of the players also gambled offline, but there was no relationship between problem gambling and whether or not a person also gambled offline. Discussion: Problem gambling is associated more with certain online gambling activities than others, and those gambling on two or more activities online were more likely to be a problem gambler. Conclusion: This paper can help explain the impact dif-ferent online gambling activities may have on gambling behaviour. Consideration needs to be given to the gambling activity when developing and implementing treatment programmes.
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When data are collected via anonymous Internet surveys, particularly under conditions of obligatory participation (such as with student samples), data quality can be a concern. However, little guidance exists in the published literature regarding techniques for detecting careless responses. Previously several potential approaches have been suggested for identifying careless respondents via indices computed from the data, yet almost no prior work has examined the relationships among these indicators or the types of data patterns identified by each. In 2 studies, we examined several methods for identifying careless responses, including (a) special items designed to detect careless response, (b) response consistency indices formed from responses to typical survey items, (c) multivariate outlier analysis, (d) response time, and (e) self-reported diligence. Results indicated that there are two distinct patterns of careless response (random and nonrandom) and that different indices are needed to identify these different response patterns. We also found that approximately 10%-12% of undergraduates completing a lengthy survey for course credit were identified as careless responders. In Study 2, we simulated data with known random response patterns to determine the efficacy of several indicators of careless response. We found that the nature of the data strongly influenced the efficacy of the indices to identify careless responses. Recommendations include using identified rather than anonymous responses, incorporating instructed response items before data collection, as well as computing consistency indices and multivariate outlier analysis to ensure high-quality data. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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