An examination of internet and land-based gambling among adolescents in three Canadian provinces: results from the youth gambling survey (YGS) – Open Access


With the rapid proliferation of new gambling technology and online gambling opportunities, there is a concern that online gambling could have a significant impact on public health, particularly for adolescents. The aim of this study is to examine online and land-based gambling behaviour among adolescents in 3 Canadian provinces (Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan) prior to the implementation of legalized online gambling.


Data are from 10,035 students in grades 9 to 12 who responded to the 2012–2013 Youth Gambling Survey (YGS) supplement, a questionnaire administered as part of the Canadian Youth Smoking Survey (YSS, 2012) in 3 provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador (n = 2,588), Ontario (n = 3,892), and Saskatchewan (n = 3,555).


Overall, 41.6 % of adolescents (35.9 % of females and 47.4 % of males) had gambled in the past 3 months. 9.4 % of adolescents had gambled online in the past 3 months alone (3.7 % of females and 15.3 % of males). The most popular form of online gambling was online sports betting. Adolescents also engaged in online simulated gambling including internet poker (9.1 %) and simulated gambling on Facebook (9.0 %). Few adolescents participated in online gambling exclusively and online gamblers were more likely than land-based gamblers to engage in multiple forms of gambling. A higher proportion of adolescent online gamblers scored “high” or “low to moderate” in problem gambling severity compared to land-based only gamblers.


Despite restrictions on online gambling at the time of the study, adolescents were engaging in online gambling at a significantly higher rate than has been previously found. Adolescents were also using technology such as video games to gamble and free online gambling simulations.

A cross-cultural study of gambling disorder: a comparison between women from Brazil and the United States – Open Access

Objective: To perform a cross-cultural comparison of gambling disorder (GD) in women from Brazil and the United States, two countries with pronounced social and cultural differences. We hoped to produce insight into the impact of cultural influences on the presentation of GD in women, which may be useful for the development of culturally-sensitive interventions.

Method: We assessed 681 women with GD: 406 from a Brazilian sample and 275 from a U.S. sample. We assessed demographic and gambling behavior variables in addition to co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

Results: Fewer Brazilian participants were Caucasian (73.3 vs. 91.3%; p = 0.022). Also, Brazilian women had lower levels of education (59.9% with high school or less vs. 44.4%; p < 0.001), and were more likely to have a current partner (54.9 vs. 43.4%; p = 0.003). Brazilian gamblers also reported lower urge scores (6.6±4.3 vs. 11.6±2.4; p < 0.001) and higher chasing rates (89.1 vs. 80.0%; p = 0.002). Brazilian gamblers reported higher rates of bingo gambling (19.2 vs. 5.7%; p < 0.001), but lower rates of card game gambling (5.8 vs. 23.1%; p < 0.001). Finally, Brazilian gamblers were more likely to endorse a history of major depressive disorder (36.9 vs. 24.4%; p = 0.001).

Conclusions: This study reinforces the need for further general cross-cultural research on GD and particularly for studies investigating how gender mediates these differences. Finally, the differences noted in this analysis suggest that the findings of predominantly Anglo-Saxon cultures may not be generalizable to other world populations.

The effects of gambling on the financial well-being and perceived social support of family members: A quantitative study

Researchers have documented that problem gambling has affected families. The purpose of this quantitative study is to investigate how the gambling behaviors of an individual affected perceived social support of his or her family members and their financial well-being. This study will be based on a cross-sectional survey of 33 family members of gamblers who resided in Orange County, California. The majority of the participants estimated their family member spent an average of $1,000 per week on gambling activities. Asians and first generation immigrants experienced low perceived social support compared to their non-Asians and second and third generation counterparts. Participants who earned less than $15,000, those who rented, and were single scored low on financial well-being scale compared to their counterparts. Study findings have implications for social and behavioral sciences. The findings aimed to help families, communities and helping professionals to have an awareness of the potential harm of problem gambling.

The intergenerational transmission of problem gambling: The mediating role of parental psychopathology

The present study investigated the intergenerational transmission of problem gambling and the potential mediating role of parental psychopathology (problem drinking, drug use problems, and mental health issues). The study comprised 3953 participants (1938 males, 2015 females) recruited from a large-scale Australian community telephone survey of adults retrospectively reporting on parental problem gambling and psychopathology during their childhood. Overall, 4.0% [95%CI 3.0, 5.0] (n = 157) of participants reported paternal problem gambling and 1.7% [95%CI 1.0, 2.0] (n = 68) reported maternal problem gambling. Compared to their peers, participants reporting paternal problem gambling were 5.1 times more likely to be moderate risk gamblers and 10.7 times more likely to be problem gamblers. Participants reporting maternal problem gambling were 1.7 times more likely to be moderate risk gamblers and 10.6 times more likely to be problem gamblers. The results revealed that the relationships between paternal-and-participant and maternal-and-participant problem gambling were significant, but that only the relationship between paternal-and-participant problem gambling remained statistically significant after controlling for maternal problem gambling and sociodemographic factors. Paternal problem drinking and maternal drug use problems partially mediated the relationship between paternal-and-participant problem gambling, and fully mediated the relationship between maternal-and-participant problem gambling. In contrast, parental mental health issues failed to significantly mediate the transmission of gambling problems by either parent. When parental problem gambling was the mediator, there was full mediation of the effect between parental psychopathology and offspring problem gambling for fathers but not mothers. Overall, the study highlights the vulnerability of children from problem gambling households and suggests that it would be of value to target prevention and intervention efforts towards this cohort.

Electronic gambling machine gamblers’ characteristics vary according to the type of gambling venue: a Canadian study

The goal of this study was to improve the common knowledge on the connections between problem gambling and environmental settings. A cross-sectional design was used to compare two types of electronic gambling machine (EGM) users in terms of gamblers’ self-reported behaviours, perceptions, motivations and preferences according to the type of venue they gambled in. Sixty-six volunteers who gambled in a gambling hall containing 335 EGMs were compared to volunteers (n = 143) who gambled in small venues containing either 5 or 10 EGMs. All venues were located in areas with similar socio-economic status. Face-to-face survey-like interviews were conducted on site by trained assistants. Interviews comprised 83 items (fixed response and short open-ended questions). Gamblers’ varied according to the type of venue on (a) socio-demographic variables; (b) correlates of gambling problems; (c) self-reported gambling behaviours, perceptions and motivations; and (d) venue characteristics influencing their choice of venue. Small venue gamblers reported more characteristics associated with problem gambling and are about four times more likely to be associated with problem gambling than gambling hall patrons. Decision-makers should consider the venue specific players’ profiles outlined in this manuscript, and appreciate their possible use in appropriate responsible gambling measures and prevention/treatment programmes.

A gender perspective on gambling clusters in Sweden using longitudinal data

AIMS – This study describes five groups of gamblers and changes in their gambling involvement and gambling problems over four years with a particular focus on whether gambling problems among men and women develop differently within the five groups. DESIGN – The study sample is a subset of participants from the Swedish Longitudinal Gambling Study (Swelogs). Six different clusters of past-year gambling, based on frequency of participation in the nine most common forms of gambling in Sweden (lotteries, horses, number games, sports games, bingo, poker, slot machines, casino games or TV contests) were identified in Two-Way Cluster Analysis after the first wave of data collection in 2008/09. There were 2,508 individuals identified in EP1 (n=5,012) who then also participated in waves EP2 and EP3 and were selected for the present analysis. METHODS – Statistical analysis was done in SPSS 22.0 using Pearson’s Chi-Square test of Independence (or Fisher’s Exact test when the requirements or expected frequency were not met for Pearson’s Test), Mann-Whitney U-test and logistic regression. P-values below 0.05 were regarded as significant. RESULTS – Gambling remains gendered in Sweden. Even though the clusters are based on gambling activities, there are differences between men and women within the clusters as regards the gambling participation patterns. CONCLUSIONS – Men and women gamble differently, but they may still be equals in their total experience of gambling and in relation to how their gambling problems develop. All differences need to be taken into consideration when preventive actions or messages are created.

At-risk and problem gambling among Finnish youth: The examination of risky alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, mental health and loneliness as gender-specific correlates

AIMS – The aims were to compare past-year at-risk and problem gambling (ARPG) and other at-risk behaviours (computer gaming, risky alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking) by age and gender, and to explore how ARPG is associated with risky alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, poor mental health and loneliness in males and females. DESIGN – Data from respondents aged 15-28 (n = 822) were derived from a cross-sectional random sample of population-based data (n = 4484). The data were collected in 2011-2012 by telephone interviews. The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI, score≥2) was used to evaluate ARPG. Prevalence rates for risk behaviours were compared for within gender-specific age groups. Regression models were gender-specific. RESULTS – The proportion of at-risk and problem gamblers was higher among males than females in all age groups except among 18-21-year-olds, while frequent computer gaming was higher among males in all age groups. The odds ratio (95% CI) of being a male ARPGer was 2.57 (1.40-4.74) for risky alcohol consumption; 1.95 (1.07-3.56) for tobacco smoking; 2.63 (0.96-7.26) for poor mental health; and 4.41 (1.20-16.23) for feeling lonely. Likewise, the odds ratio (95% CI) of being a female ARPGer was 1.19 (0.45-3.12) for risky alcohol consumption; 4.01 (1.43-11.24) for tobacco smoking; 0.99 (0.18-5.39) for poor mental health; and 6.46 (1.42-29.34) for feeling lonely. All 95% CIs of ARPG correlates overlapped among males and females. CONCLUSIONS – Overall, past-year at-risk and problem gambling and computer gaming seem to be more common among males than females; however, for risky alcohol consumption similar gender differences were evident only for the older half of the sample. No clear gender differences were seen in correlates associated with ARPG.