Evidence suggests that problem gambling is an unstable state where gamblers move into and out of risk over time. This article looks at longitudinal changes in risky gambling and the factors associated with an increased risk (measured by the Problem Gambling Severity Index [PGSI]) in the current New Zealand context, which has experienced a doubling of the electronic gaming machine (EGM) market over the last two decades. Respondents from a nationally representative baseline sample (n = 2672) were recontacted two years later to assess changes in gambling behaviours. Among the 901 respondents reached at follow-up, average gambling risk increased over time, and the prevalence of those who had at least some level of gambling risk (i.e. low-risk or greater) more than doubled (from 4.7% to 12.4%). The majority (80.2%) of those who were at risk at follow-up had not been at risk at baseline. Multivariate linear regression analyses show that the predictors of low to moderate increased risk include Pacific ethnicity; high neighbourhood deprivation status; baseline frequent, continuous gambler type; baseline PGSI status; and playing EGMs. These findings highlight the need to develop theories of gambling addiction trajectories and to identify the earliest point along the trajectory where public health interventions should occur.
Kruse, K., White, J., Walton, D. K., & Tu, D. (2016). Changes in risky gambling prevalence among a New Zealand population cohort. International Gambling Studies, 0(0), 1–19. http://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2016.1183033
To examine whether the “prevention paradox” applies to British individuals in relation to gambling-related harm.
Data were derived from 7,756 individuals participating in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010, a comprehensive interview-based survey conducted in Great Britain between November 2009 and May 2010. Gambling-related harm was assessed using an adapted version of the DSM-IV Pathological Gambling criteria. The previous year’s prevalence of problem gamblers was examined using the Problem Gambling Severity Index. Gambling involvement was measured by gambling frequency and gambling participation (gambling volume as expressed by time and money spent gambling).
The prevalence rates for past-year gambling harms were dependence harm (16.4%), social harm (2.2%), and chasing losses (7.9%). Gambling-related harms were distributed across low- to moderate-risk gamblers (and not limited to just problem gamblers) and were reported by the majority of gamblers who were non-high time and spend regular gamblers than high time and spend regular gamblers.
The prevention paradox is a promising way of examining gambling-related harm. This suggests that prevention of gambling might need to consider the population approach to minimizing gambling harm.
There has been an unprecedented growth of legalized gambling opportunities in Canada over the past two decades, partly to generate revenues without raising taxes. Unfortunately, for 2–3% of the Canadian population, gambling can become disordered (i.e. develop into a gambling addiction). To help attenuate the harms and prevalence of disordered gambling, all provincial governments earmark a portion of gambling revenues for the prevention, treatment and research into disordered gambling. However, the field of gambling studies has recently come under criticism in the way research is conducted. At the forefront of the criticism is the issue of accepting funding from the gambling industry. We provide an overview of the ethical considerations, potential ethical issues, and the possible benefits of accepting such funding. The aim of the present paper is not to argue for or against accepting industry funding, but rather to delineate the potential ethical issues and benefits related to that acceptance. More importantly, we provide a summary of best practice ethical guidelines, and recommendations to guide in the ethical decision making process in accepting or declining funding from gambling industry. To this end, we use the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists as a framework in which to situate our guidelines and recommendations. Given that Canadian researchers have a long history and continue to contribute valuable knowledge in the field of gambling studies, it is of important for gambling researchers to be aware of the ethical considerations and issues related to funding from gambling industry.
Few empirical studies have examined the relationships between differing regulatory approaches and patterns of gambling behaviors. This article reports on a correlational cross-cultural comparison of differences in the regulatory approaches and gambling behavior among general adult populations in France and Québec, Canada. We drew data from two large population surveys conducted in France and Québec (N=27 653 and N=11 888, respectively). We found diverging and converging aspects of government regulatory policies. Statistical analyses demonstrated significantly higher participation rates and prevalence of ‘assiduous gamblers’ in Québec. In France, among assiduous gamblers, the proportion of moderate-risk and probable pathological gamblers is significantly higher. Future research should examine environmental conditions and varying gambling offerings, as well as gambling regulation, to determine their potential influence on gambling behaviors.
The increasing convergence of the gambling and gaming industries has raised questions about the extent to which social casino game play may influence gambling. This study aimed to examine the relationship between social casino gaming and gambling through an online survey of 521 adults who played social casino games in the previous 12 months. Most social casino game users (71.2%) reported that these games had no impact on how much they gambled. However, 9.6% reported that their gambling overall had increased and 19.4% reported that they had gambled for money as a direct result of these games. Gambling as a direct result of social casino games was more common among males, younger users, those with higher levels of problem gambling severity and more involved social casino game users in terms of game play frequency and in-game payments. The most commonly reported reason for gambling as a result of playing social casino games was to win real money. As social casino games increased gambling for some users, this suggests that simulated gambling may influence actual gambling expenditure particularly amongst those already vulnerable to or affected by gambling problems.
Numerous responsible gambling (RG) strategies are promoted to assist consumers to “gamble responsibly”. However, consumer adoption of RG strategies, how this varies by gambler risk group, and whether usage is associated with non-problematic gambling are largely unknown. This study aimed to (1) determine how use of RG-related strategies differs amongst regular gamblers by gambler risk group; and (2) identify RG-related strategies whose usage predicts non-problem/low risk gambling. Regular Australian gamblers on high-risk products (N = 860), recruited through gambling venues and an online wagering operator, were surveyed about their use of RG strategies promoted on the website of their jurisdiction’s main RG agency. Knowledge of RG strategies was reasonably high amongst all gambler risk groups, but lower-risk groups were more likely to use RG strategies. A logistic regression correctly predicted 82.1 % of lower-risk gamblers and 77.2 % of higher-risk gamblers. Predictors of lower-risk gambling included: greater confidence in their understanding of RG; endorsement of lower gambling expenditure and frequency limits; fewer erroneous gambling beliefs; being less likely to gamble to win money, challenge their skills/beat the odds, or forget about worries and stresses; and being more likely to gamble for pleasure/entertainment. Lower-risk gamblers were more likely to set a money limit in advance of gambling and to balance their gambling with other activities. These findings contribute to understanding which strategies are favoured by different risk groups, and which are associated with safer levels of gambling. They can guide consumer information aimed at enhancing RG consumption and future research on RG consumption.