Increased Urge to Gamble Following Near-Miss Outcomes May Drive Purchasing Behaviour in Scratch Card Gambling (full text)

Madison Stange, Candice Graydon, Mike J. Dixon

Previous research into scratch card gambling has highlighted the effects of these games on players’ arousal and affective states. Specifically, near-miss outcomes in scratch cards (uncovering 2 of 3 needed jackpot symbols) have been associated with high levels of physiological and subjective arousal and negative emotional evaluations, including increased frustration. We sought to extend this research by examining whether near-misses prompted increases in gambling urge, and the subsequent purchasing of additional scratch cards. Participants played two scratch cards with varying outcomes with half of the sample experiencing a near-miss for the jackpot prize, and the other half experiencing a regular loss. Players rated their urge to continue gambling after each game outcome, and following the initial playing phase, were then able to use their winnings to purchase additional cards. Our results indicated that near-misses increased the urge to gamble significantly more than regular losses, and urge to gamble in the near-miss group was significantly correlated with purchasing at least one additional card. Although some players in the loss group purchased another card, there was no correlation between urge to gamble and purchasing in this group. Additionally, participants in the near-miss group who purchased additional cards reported higher levels of urge than those who did not purchase more cards. This was not true for the loss group: participants who experienced solely losing outcomes reported similar levels of urge regardless of whether or not they purchased more scratch cards. Despite near-misses’ objective status as monetary losses, the increased urge that follows near-miss outcomes may translate into further scratch card gambling for a subset of individuals.

Social support as a mediator between problem behaviour and gambling: a cross-sectional study among 14–16-year-old Finnish adolescents (full text)

Tiina Räsänen, Tomi Lintonen, Asko Tolvanen, Anne Konu

Background During the adolescent period, risk-taking behaviour increases. These behaviours can compromise the successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. The purpose of this study was to examine social support as a mediator of the relation between problem behaviour and gambling frequency among Finnish adolescents.
Methods Data were obtained from the national School Health Promotion Study (SHPS) from the years 2010 and 2011 (N=102 545). Adolescents were classified in the most homogeneous groups based on their problem behaviour via latent class analysis.
Results Path analysis indicated that social support was negatively associated with problem behaviour, and problem behaviour and social support were negatively related (except for social support from friends among boys) to gambling. Social support from parents and school mediated, albeit weakly, the relations between problem behaviour and gambling among girls and boys.
Conclusions Problem behaviour may affect gambling through social support from school and parents. Thus prevention and intervention strategies should focus on strengthening adolescents’ social support. In addition, because of the clustering of different problem behaviours instead of concentrating on a single form of problem behaviour multiple-behaviour interventions may have a much greater impact on public health. 

Is Gambling Contagious? An Analysis of Electronic Gambling Machine Clustering in Germany

Johannes Jasny

There are sizeable differences in the Electronic Gambling Machine (EGM) supply among German regions. Furthermore, the EGM supply concentrates in certain regions which results in gambling hot spots. Interestingly the spatial clustering of EGM supply is still observed when we control for agglomeration effects caused by population. This leads to the question why the EGM supply concentrates in some regions and remains low in others. We argue that the concentration of supply can be mostly explained by the socioeconomic characteristics of these regions. This paper makes three central contributions to the location based gambling research. First, it visualizes the absolute and relative supply of EGMs in German communities and highlights the spatial clustering of high and low EGM density regions. Second, it implements socioeconomic and geographical control variables for a more distinct description of regional differences. Third, it employs spatial econometric modelling to quantify and explain the occurrence of EGM hot spots. For our analysis we use census and EGM market data. The main finding implies, that there is a clear clustering of the EGM supply across regions at first, but when considering the socioeconomic characteristics / deprivation of the regions, most of the clustering effect is erased. The model explains most of the clustering effect which appears to exist only when there is no slender consideration of the socioeconomic differences across regions. This result supports the hypothesis that high gambling activity in one region does not affect the gambling activity in neighboring regions.

Social Costs of Gambling in the Czech Republic 2012

Petr Winkler, Markéta Bejdová, Ladislav Csémy, Aneta Weissová

Evidence about social costs of gambling is scarce and the methodology for their calculation has been a subject to strong criticism. We aimed to estimate social costs of gambling in the Czech Republic 2012. This retrospective, prevalence based cost of illness study builds on the revised methodology of Australian Productivity Commission. Social costs of gambling were estimated by combining epidemiological and economic data. Prevalence data on negative consequences of gambling were taken from existing national epidemiological studies. Economic data were taken from various national and international sources. Consequences of problem and pathological gambling only were taken into account. In 2012, the social costs of gambling in the Czech Republic were estimated to range between 541,619 and 619,608 thousands EUR. While personal and family costs accounted for 63% of all social costs, direct medical costs were estimated to range from 0.25 to 0.28% of all social costs only. This is the first study which estimates social costs of gambling in any of the Central and East European countries. It builds upon the solid evidence about prevalence of gambling related problems in the Czech Republic and satisfactorily reliable economic data. However, there is a number of limitations stemming from assumptions that were made, which suggest that the methodology for the calculation of the social costs of gambling needs further development.

Winkler, P., Bejdová, M., Csémy, L., & Weissová, A. (2016). Social Costs of Gambling in the Czech Republic 2012. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–18.

Relations of Five-Factor Personality Domains to Gambling Motives in Emerging Adult Gamblers: A Longitudinal Study (full text)

Sean P. Mackinnon, Laura Lambe, & Sherry H. Stewart
At least three types of gambling motives have been proposed: coping motives (gambling to reduce negative affect), enhancement motives (gambling to enhance positive affect), and social motives (gambling to increase social affiliation). Few studies have examined the underlying personality traits that give rise to these different motivations. The present study tests the longitudinal link between changes in five-factor model personality domains and gambling motives among emerging adults. A sample of 679 emerging adults (Mage = 18.90 years; 51.8% female) was recruited as part of the Manitoba Longitudinal Study of Young Adults (MLSYA). Participants completed self-report questionnaires across four measurement occasions, with each measurement 12–18 months apart. The NEO Five Factor Inventory was administered at waves 1 and 3, and the Gambling Motives Questionnaire was administered at wave 4. Data were analyzed using longitudinal structural equation modeling. Emerging adults who experienced increases in neuroticism had higher coping motives at a subsequent wave. Those who experienced increases in extraversion had higher enhancement and social motives. Those who experienced increases in agreeableness had lower social and coping motives. Changes in conscientiousness and openness were unrelated to any of the motives after controlling for all other variables. Extraversion and agreeableness predicting social motives were the most robust findings. A multigroup analysis showed the measurement and structural models did not differ by sex. Longitudinal changes in five-factor model personality domains were linked to specific motives for gambling in a theoretically-expected fashion. Results have implications for personality-targeted interventions for problem gamblers.

Gambling and Video Game Playing Among Youth

Jessica McBride & Jeffrey Derevensky

Gambling and video game playing represent two leisure activities in which adolescents and young adults participate. There are psychological and behavioural parallels between some forms of gambling (e.g., slot machines, video lottery terminals, electronic gambling machines) and some types of video games (e.g., arcade games). Both activities operate on behavioural principles of variable reinforcement schedules in order to reward and prolong play and use exciting and stimulating sound and light effects within game play. Additionally, both activities have similar negative effects associated with excessive play (e.g., poor academic performance, moodiness, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, and interpersonal conflict). Thus, there is concern that children and adolescents who are attracted to video games, for both psychological rewards and the challenge, may be at greater risk to gamble. We examined the gambling and video game playing behaviour among 1,229 adolescents and young adults. Results indicate that gamblers, relative to non-gamblers, were more likely to play video games. Video game players were more likely than non-players to gamble. Both social and problem gamblers had higher rates of video game playing than did non-gamblers, and addicted gamers had higher rates of gambling than did social and non-gamers. Results from the current study suggest significant overlap in youth participation in both gambling activities and video game playing. These results have implications for future research and the treatment of problem gambling and video game addiction.