Gambling Warning Messages: The Impact of Winning and Losing on Message Reception Across a Gambling Session.

Ginley MK, Whelan JP, Keating HA, Meyers AW.

Gambling warning messages have been shown to lead to prevention and modification of risk-taking behaviors. Laboratory studies have shown messages can increase a player’s knowledge about gambling specific risks, modify their gambling-related cognitive distortions, and even change play. In the present laboratory study, participants were randomly assigned to a winning or losing slot machine gambling experience where they either viewed periodic warning messages or not. It was hypothesized that those in the message conditions would place smaller bets, spend more time considering bets, and spend less time gambling than those in the control conditions. We also hypothesized participants would play differently across the contexts of winning or losing. The results showed those who received warning messages while winning made the fewest number of spins and did not speed up their bet rate over the course of play as much as those in other conditions. Players who received warning messages while losing decreased the size of their bets over the course of play compared to those who received messages while winning. Despite receiving warning messages, losing players did not decrease their number of spins or rate of betting. Winning or losing during slot machine play appears to have significant consequences on the impact of a warning message. Whereas a message to change gambling behavior may encourage a winning gambler to stop play, the same message for a losing player may lead to a small minimization in harm by helping them to decrease bet size, though not their rate of betting. (PsycINFO Database Record

Understanding the psychology of mobile gambling: A behavioural synthesis (full text)

Richard J. E. James, Claire O’Malley, Richard J. Tunney

This manuscript reviews the extant literature on key issues related to mobile gambling and considers whether the potential risks of harm emerging from this platform are driven by pre-existing comorbidities or by psychological processes unique to mobile gambling. We propose an account based on associative learning that suggests this form of gambling is likely to show distinctiv

e features compared with other gambling technologies. Smartphones are a rapidly growing platform on which individuals can gamble using specifically designed applications, adapted websites or text messaging. This review considers how mobile phone use interacts with psychological processes relevant to gambling, the games users are likely to play on smartphones, and the interactions afforded by smartphones. Our interpretation of the evidence is that the schedules of reinforcement found in gambling interact with the ways in which people tend to use smartphones that may expedite the acquisition of maladaptive learned behaviours such as problem gambling. This account is consistent with existing theories and frameworks of problem gambling and has relevance to other forms of mobile phone use.

The Longitudinal Relationships Between Psychiatric Disorders and Gambling Disorders

Hartmann, M. & Blaszczynski, A.

The literature has consistently reported an association between gambling disorders and various comorbid psychiatric and substance conditions. The majority of studies have been cross-sectional in nature, and therefore fail to describe the temporal sequences between these conditions. To investigate these temporal sequences we conducted a scoping review of empirical longitudinal studies that have explored the relationships between gambling disorders and comorbid psychiatric disorders, including any mood and anxiety disorders, suicidal ideations and attempts, and illicit substance, nicotine and alcohol use and dependence. A search was conducted for peer reviewed and unpublished articles, and government reports published between January 2000 and March 2015, with a main focus on the temporal sequence between these two conditions. Studies were only included if they were in English, prospective in nature, studied treatment and population samples and included any form of gambling. A total of 35 publications were identified and the findings discussed in terms of three populations: (i) specific populations, (ii) children, adolescents, and young adults, and (iii) adults. On the basis of these longitudinal findings it is suggested that psychiatric disorders can represent both a precursor and a consequence of problem gambling, and that there are underlying interactive factors, such as impulsivity that can predict and drive both temporal sequences. Screening for comorbid psychiatric conditions upon entering treatment for problem gambling should form an integral part of clinical assessments. However, the extent to which comorbid conditions contribute causally to the development of gambling disorders remains to be conclusively established.

Hartmann, M. & Blaszczynski, A. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2016). doi:10.1007/s11469-016-9705-z

Rise of the Machines: A Critical Review on the Behavioural Effects of Automating Traditional Gambling Games

By Tess Armstrong, Matthew Rockloff, Nancy Greer, Phillip Donaldson

Automated gambling products are now a common feature on many casino floors. Despite their increasing prevalence, little research has considered the impact of converting games traditionally free from technological enhancements to automated versions. This review seeks to illustrate how automation is likely to change the way people engage and experience traditional games based around five prominent modifications: visual and auditory enhancements; illusions of control; cognitive complexity; expedited play; and social customisation. Otherwise known as the “VICES” framework. The inclusion of rich graphics, event-dependent sound and game-play information such as statistics, history, betting options and strategic betting are likely to prolong and entice gambling while encouraging more intense betting. Changes to the social environment due to the asocial nature of automated products is also likely to significantly change the gambling experience. Given the increasing prevalence of these products in the marketplace, it is important to consider the implications of converting traditional products to automated form as technological enhancements have the potential to allow for faster, more intense betting. More research is needed to determine the full impact of automation on player behaviours in order to understand the potential risks associated with technological enhancements to traditional games.

Assessing Problem Gambling: a Review of Classic and Specialized Measures (full text)

By Kyle Caler, Jose Ricardo Vargas Garcia, Lia Nower

Purpose of Review – The rapid expansion of legalized gambling opportunities over the past 20 years has generated interest in problem gambling and gambling disorder. This review will provide an overview of classic and newer instruments in the field.Recent FindingsEarly instruments in the field of gambling studies were focused exclusively on population prevalence or diagnosis of disorder. However, a growing body of research, particularly in the clinical and neurobiological areas, have led to the development of a targeted measurement instruments and increased specialization designed for screening of a gambling disorder. Newer instruments and those that with renewed clinical and research interest are focused on specific areas such as cognitive distortions, and control of urges and cravings, which are key components of sustained recovery.SummaryMeasurement in the field of problem gambling is moving away from solely measuring population prevalence and psychiatric disorder toward targeting the specific mechanisms that underlie problem gambling and barriers to recovery. Future advances in measurement will necessitate using standardized measures to assess various facets of problem gambling and adopting a holistic approach to assessing facets synergistically to identify sub-groups and inform targeted treatment strategies.

Caler, K., Garcia, J. R. V., & Nower, L. (2016). Assessing Problem Gambling: a Review of Classic and Specialized Measures. Current Addiction Reports, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-016-0118-7

Gambling Disorder, Vulnerability, and the Law: Mapping the Field (full text)

By Stacey A. Tovino

This Article seeks to descriptively map the sub-field of gambling disorder and the law and ask whether individuals with gambling disorder are vulnerable under the law. Like other scholarship that descriptively maps ethical, legal, and social implications of lesser known conditions and developments, this Article seeks to describe the treatment of individuals with gambling disorder in a variety of illustrative, but not exhaustive, legal contexts, to identify the limited scholarship assessing the application of the law to individuals with gambling disorder, and to invite members of the health law academy to bring their significant expertise to bear on these issues through traditional normative scholarship. Such work would require members of the health law academy to familiarize themselves with gambling disorder, including its prevalence, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as advances in the neuroscientific understanding of the disorder. This is intentional; that is, one of the goals of this Article is to increase awareness of gambling disorder and to encourage compassion and sympathy for affected individuals. A second goal of this Article is to revisit age-old questions about what it means to be ill and whether and how the law should accommodate individuals with particular physical and mental health conditions, including gambling disorders.

Tovino, Stacey A., “Gambling Disorder, Vulnerability, and the Law: Mapping the Field” (2016). Scholarly Works. Paper 998.
http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/facpub/998

The cost of virtual wins: An examination of gambling-related risks in youth who spend money on social casino games (full text)

Methods An online survey was administered to 555 adolescents, including 130 SCG players (78 non-paying and 52 paying users).