Gambling-Related Employee Embezzlement: A Study of Swedish Newspaper Reports (full text)

Binde, P.

It is well-known that severe problem gambling may lead to economic crime. This study explored a particular type of such criminality: embezzlement committed by problem gamblers in the workplace. The aim was to gain knowledge about the extent of such criminality in Sweden and the sums of money involved. The method used was a media study of newspaper reports, complemented with information about help-seeking problem gamblers obtained in interviews with therapists specializing in problem gambling and with peer counsellors in mutual support societies of problem gamblers. The results showed that gambling-related embezzlement occurs in all branches of the economy where employees have access to money. The sums embezzled can be huge and the crimes sustained over several years. However, this varies across professional categories, with bank managers embezzling larger sums of money than others, and for longer, before being detected. Although Swedish newspapers report on average about one case a month of gambling-related employee embezzlement, the true prevalence is likely to be at least 10 times higher. More efforts should be made to prevent embezzlement and other gambling-related harms in the workplace.

Binde, P. (2016). Gambling-Related Employee Embezzlement: A Study of Swedish Newspaper Reports. Journal of Gambling Issues, xx–xx. https://doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2016.34.4

Proactive coping and gambling disorder among young men (full text)

Sleczka, P., Braun, B., Grüne, B., Bühringer, G., & Kraus, L.

Objectives: Male sex, young age, and frequent gambling are considered as risk factors for gambling disorder (GD) and stress might be one of the triggers of gambling behavior among problem gamblers. Conversely, well-developed coping with stress might counteract gambling problems. The Proactive Coping Theory provides a promising approach for the further development of preventive and treatment measures. The objective of the study was to investigate different facets of proactive coping (PC) in young male gamblers.

Methods: Young men from Bavaria were recruited via the Munich citizens’ registry (n=2,588) and Facebook invitations (n=105). In total, 173 out of 398 individuals were positively screened for frequent gambling and/or signs of related problems and completed the baseline questionnaire of the Munich Leisure-time Study. Factors investigated include gambling problems, PC, impulsiveness, social support, and psychological distress.

Results: Gambling problems were associated with lower levels of preventive coping as well as of adaptive reaction delay. The associations were also significant when controlled for impulsiveness and general psychological distress. Preventive coping moderated the association between social support and gambling problems.

Discussion and conclusions: Young men with gambling problems less frequently prevent the occurrence of stressors and more often react hasty when these occur. While the investigated group reported good social support, this factor was negatively associated with GD only among individuals with good preventive coping. Preventive coping poses a useful construct for selective prevention and treatment as it can be modified in professional interventions.

Sleczka, P., Braun, B., Grüne, B., Bühringer, G., & Kraus, L. (2016). Proactive coping and gambling disorder among young men. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.5.2016.080

Self-Generated Motives for Not Gambling Among Young Adult Non-gamblers

Rash, C. L., & McGrath, D. S. (2016).

Motivational models have been shown to usefully describe reasons for engaging in addictive behaviors including gambling disorder. Although most scales designed to measure motives have been derived statistically, self-generated open-ended responses have also shown utility for identifying unique motives for gambling. While the motivational structure for gambling disorder has been extensively explored, there has been a paucity of research examining motives for choosing not to gamble. This is not the case for other addictive behaviors such as alcohol use where motives for abstaining from drinking have been well defined. The primary goal of this study was to qualitatively explore and identify motives for not gambling in a sample of young adult non-gamblers using open-ended responses. A sample (N = 196) of undergraduate current non-gamblers, defined as no gambling activity over the previous 12 months, completed a series of questionnaires on demographics, gambling behavior, and alcohol consumption. Furthermore, they were asked to provide their top three reasons for not gambling in rank order. The results revealed eight specific motives for why participants chose not to gamble: ‘financial reasons and risk aversion’; ‘disinterest and other priorities’; ‘personal and religious convictions’; ‘addiction concerns’; ‘influence of others’ values’; ‘awareness of the odds’; ‘lack of access, opportunity, or skill’; and ‘emotional distress’. Personal and religious convictions reasons were also related to lifetime non-drinking, suggesting that these motives are associated with decreased addictive behaviors in general. Ultimately, these results may help to inform the design of prevention strategies for gambling disorder.

Behavioural indicators of responsible gambling consumption (full text)

Hing, N., Russell, A., & Hronis, A. (2016).
(From the report’s executive summary)
The aim of this study, therefore, was to develop a preliminary set of behavioural indicators of RCG – that is, the first set of commonly understood behavioural markers associated with gambling responsibly. It must be stressed that the behavioural indicators developed in this study are preliminary, and will require validation in subsequent research. We also emphasise that, while developing and promoting a  validated set of behavioural indicators of RCG can provide much – needed consumer guidelines on how to ‘gamble responsibly’, this represents just one type of strategy for behavioural change. The public health literature promotes the use of a broad range of strategies to optimise behavioural change, such as regulation, policy, law, reducing availability, price controls, and restrictions on marketing; these broader strategies are not considered further in this report.

Problem Gambling in a Sample of Older Adult Casino Gamblers Associations With Gambling Participation and Motivations

Maas, M. van der, Mann, R. E., McCready, J., Matheson, F. I., Turner, N. E., Hamilton, H. A., … Ialomiteanu, A. (2016).

As older adults continue to make up a greater proportion of the Canadian population, it becomes more important to understand the implications that their leisure activities have for their physical and mental health. Gambling, in particular, is a form of leisure that is becoming more widely available and has important implications for the mental health and financial well-being of older adults. This study examines a large sample (2103) of casino-going Ontarian adults over the age of 55 and identifies those features of their gambling participation that are associated with problem gambling. Logistic regression analysis is used to analyze the data. Focusing on types of gambling participated in and motivations for visiting the casino, this study finds that several forms of gambling and motivations to gamble are associated with greater risk of problem gambling. It also finds that some motivations are associated with lower risk of problem gambling. The findings of this study have implications related to gambling availability within an aging population.

Early risk and protective factors for problem gambling: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies (full text)

Dowling, N. A., Merkouris, S. S., Greenwood, C. J., Oldenhof, E., Toumbourou, J. W., & Youssef, G. J.

This systematic review aimed to identify early risk and protective factors (in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood) longitudinally associated with the subsequent development of gambling problems. A systematic search of peer-reviewed and grey literature from 1990 to 2015 identified 15 studies published in 23 articles. Meta-analyses quantified the effect size of 13 individual risk factors (alcohol use frequency, antisocial behaviours, depression, male gender, cannabis use, illicit drug use, impulsivity, number of gambling activities, problem gambling severity, sensation seeking, tobacco use, violence, undercontrolled temperament), one relationship risk factor (peer antisocial behaviours), one community risk factor (poor academic performance), one individual protective factor (socio-economic status) and two relationship protective factors (parent supervision, social problems). Effect sizes were on average small to medium and sensitivity analyses revealed that the results were generally robust to the quality of methodological approaches of the included articles. These findings highlight the need for global prevention efforts that reduce risk factors and screen young people with high-risk profiles. There is insufficient investigation of protective factors to adequately guide prevention initiatives. Future longitudinal research is required to identify additional risk and protective factors associated with problem gambling, particularly within the relationship, community, and societal levels of the socio-ecological model.

Dowling, N. A., Merkouris, S. S., Greenwood, C. J., Oldenhof, E., Toumbourou, J. W., & Youssef, G. J. (n.d.). Early risk and protective factors for problem gambling: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Clinical Psychology Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2016.10.008

Self-Reported Losses Versus Actual Losses in Online Gambling: An Empirical Study (full text)

Auer, M., and Griffiths, M.

Many research findings in the gambling studies field rely on self-report data. A very small body of empirical research also suggests that when using self-report, players report their gambling losses inaccurately. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the differences between objective and subjective gambling spent data by comparing gambler’s actual behavioral tracking data with their self-report data over a 1-month period. A total of 17,742 Norwegian online gamblers were asked to participate in an online survey. Of those surveyed, 1335 gamblers answered questions relating to gambling expenditure that could be compared with their actual gambling behavior. The study found that the estimated loss self-reported by gamblers was correlated with the actual objective loss and that players with higher losses tended to have more difficulty estimating their gambling expenditure (i.e., players who spent more money gambling also appeared to have more trouble estimating their expenses accurately). Overall, the findings demonstrate that caution is warranted when using self-report data relating to amount of money spent gambling in any studies that are totally reliant on self-report data.