Virtual addictions: An examination of problematic social casino game use among at-risk gamblers

The overlap of gaming and gambling activities within online digital technologies is of growing relevance to the study of technological addictions. Social casino games are immensely popular ‘free to play’ games that offer realistic emulation of financial gambling activities. Their structural similarities might suggest that engagement in social casino games may be particularly risky for people with existing gambling problems. Currently it is not known whether social casino games are used problematically by individuals who also experience problematic gambling, the extent of this overlap, the characteristics of those who experience problems with both activities, and the symptoms of problematic social casino game use they experience. An online survey was administered to Internet users (N = 1554) to assess social casino game use and associated problems. This study examined a subsample of 176 adults who played social casino games and reported self-identified gambling problems. The results indicated that a greater frequency and diversity of social casino game playing and more frequent and larger expenditure on social casino games was significantly positively associated with symptom severity of problematic social casino game use…

Source: Gainsbury, S. M., King, D. L., Russell, A. M. T., Delfabbro, P., & Hing, N. (n.d.). Virtual addictions: An examination of problematic social casino game use among at-risk gamblers. Addictive Behaviors. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.12.007

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