Practical Treatments Considering the Role of Sociocultural Factors on Problem Gambling

Reviews of problem gambling (PG) literature increasingly recognize the ways in which different ethnic groups are affected by gambling behaviors, yet discourse, which considers sociocultural factors within PG, remains limited. Literature on this topic is influenced by large inconsistencies amongst research studies, overlapping terminology, and variability in the validity of research studies, making conclusions difficult to draw. Despite these discrepancies, this paper explores how sociocultural factors influence PG among diverse cultural groups and provides specific practical implications for treating PG disorders in culturally diverse populations. Notable factors that exacerbate PG behavior cross-culturally include substance abuse, low socioeconomic status, lack of social activities, and geographic location. Culturally sensitive treatment options such as Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy have been identified as effective treatments for PG with culturally diverse populations. This paper extends current thought by providing practical treatment recommendations that consider the subtle nuances of diverse populations. It explains how treatment providers and behavioral addiction professionals can increase their understanding and skills when conceptualizing PG clients from a diverse background.

Who Pays to Play Freemium Games? The Profiles and Motivations of Players Who Make Purchases Within Social Casino Games

The role of social support in the association between gambling, poor health and health risk-taking

Aims: Studies have shown that gambling is associated with poor health and health risk-taking behaviour. However, little is known about those factors that can influence the association between gambling, health risk-taking and health. Using a population-based School Health Promotion Study of eighth- and ninth-grade Finnish boys and girls (N = 62,956), we investigated the relationships between gambling frequency, health risk-taking and poor health as well as whether social support from parents, friends and school staff could mediate these associations. Methods: Path analysis was used to discover direct and indirect effects of health, health risk-taking and gambling. Results: Social support from parents and school staff decreased gambling among boys and girls, whereas among boys support from friends increased gambling. However, the role of social support as a mediator was very weak. Overall poor health and health risk-taking were associated with increased gambling. Conclusions: Gambling should be considered an important public health issue because it clusters with other unhealthy behaviour patterns. Interventions concerning adolescent gambling should also take other simultaneous risk-taking into consideration. Also social support from parents and school should be noted when trying to decrease adolescents’ gambling.

Principles for Developing Benchmark Criteria for Staff Training in Responsible Gambling

One approach to minimizing the negative consequences of excessive gambling is staff training to reduce the rate of the development of new cases of harm or disorder within their customers. The primary goal of the present study was to assess suitable benchmark criteria for the training of gambling employees at casinos and lottery retailers. The study utilised the Delphi Method, a survey with one qualitative and two quantitative phases. A total of 21 invited international experts in the responsible gambling field participated in all three phases. A total of 75 performance indicators were outlined and assigned to six categories: (1) criteria of content, (2) modelling, (3) qualification of trainer, (4) framework conditions, (5) sustainability and (6) statistical indicators. Nine of the 75 indicators were rated as very important by 90 % or more of the experts. Unanimous support for importance was given to indicators such as (1) comprehensibility and (2) concrete action-guidance for handling with problem gamblers, Additionally, the study examined the implementation of benchmarking, when it should be conducted, and who should be responsible. Results indicated that benchmarking should be conducted every 1–2 years regularly and that one institution should be clearly defined and primarily responsible for benchmarking. The results of the present study provide the basis for developing a benchmarking for staff training in responsible gambling.

A Critical Review of the Harm-Minimisation Tools Available for Electronic Gambling

The increasing sophistication of gambling products afforded by electronic technologies facilitates increased accessibility to gambling, as well as encouraging rapid and continuous play. This poses several challenges from a responsible gambling perspective, in terms of facilitating player self-awareness and self-control. The same technological advancements in gambling that may facilitate a loss of control may also be used to provide responsible gambling tools and solutions to reduce gambling-related harm. Indeed, several harm-minimisation strategies have been devised that aim to facilitate self-awareness and self-control within a gambling session. Such strategies include the use of breaks in play, ‘pop-up’ messaging, limit setting, and behavioural tracking. The present paper reviews the theoretical argument underpinning the application of specific harm-minimisation tools, as well as providing one of the first critical reviews of the empirical research assessing their efficacy, in terms of influencing gambling cognitions and behaviour.

Predictors of adverse gambling related consequences among adolescent boys

Although gambling is illegal for minors, adolescents do gamble and even higher proportions of adolescents than adults are at risk to become problem gamblers. Moreover, many adolescents suffer from a wide range of gambling related harms, and this study sought to examine what predicts different adverse consequences of adolescent gambling. Our aim was to test whether various cognitive, motivational and behavioural factors were associated with psychosocial consequences and loss of control, and with interpersonal and financial consequences of gambling, as measured by the Canadian Adolescent Gambling Inventory, the only instrument developed specifically for use on adolescents. The data was collected on a convenience sample of 1330 male Croatian students (Mage = 16.58, SDage = 1.16) from all three types of secondary education in Croatia. Results show that a high proportion of adolescents gamble, and that almost half of them are either at risk or can already be considered problem gamblers. Sport betting, VLT machines and betting on virtual horse races were the most frequent gambling activities for Croatian high-school boys. Hierarchical regression models showed that psychosocial consequences and loss of control can be predicted by higher frequency of gambling, previous experience with winning money and a specific motivation to earn money gambling, to become a better gambler and with having a drive to continue gambling after winning. On the other hand, interpersonal and financial consequences were predicted again by a higher frequency of gambling, the motive to be a better gambler and the drive to continue gambling after winning, but also by specific motivation to relax and feel better. Having more cognitive distortions, specifically having poorer understanding of chance and probabilities and more superstitious beliefs, as well as engagement in general risky and antisocial behaviour also predicted more interpersonal and financial consequences. Findings are discussed in the context of practical implications for prevention programs of adolescent gambling.
Ricijas, N., Dodig Hundric, D., & Huic, A. (2016). Predictors of adverse gambling related consequences among adolescent boys. Children and Youth Services Review, 67, 168–176.

The Dark Triad and Disordered Gambling

Disordered gambling refers to persistent and recurrent patterns of problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. The purpose of the present study was to examine the connections that the Dark Triad personality traits (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism) had with disordered gambling in a sample of 572 undergraduate students (129 men, 443 women). Our analyses revealed that narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism were each related to disordered gambling. However, psychopathy was the only Dark Triad personality trait that had a unique association with the risk for disordered gambling when controlling for the other Dark Triad traits. The discussion focuses on the implications of these results for understanding the connections between psychopathy and disordered gambling.