Pilot study of problem gambling in specialized substance use disorder treatment—High lifetime prevalence of problem gambling in opioid maintenance treatment patients [open access article]

Håkansson, Anders & Ek, Johanna. (2018). Open Journal of Psychiatry, 8, 233–243. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2018.83020

Abstract: Problem gambling is over-represented in patients treated for substance use disorders, but substance-specific prevalence of problem gambling is rarely reported. In specialized addiction treatment facilities for opioid maintenance treatment and for alcohol and prescription drug dependence, respectively, 129 patients were screened for problem gambling using the NODS-CLiP. The lifetime prevalence of problem gambling was markedly higher in opioid maintenance treatment (61 percent) than in alcohol and prescription drug dependence treatment (11 percent, p < 0.001). When controlling for gender and age, problem gambling remained significantly associated with opioid maintenance treatment. The present study demonstrated a very high prevalence of lifetime problem gambling in opioid maintenance treatment patients. This calls for active screening for problem gambling in substance use disorder patients, and mainly in treatment for opioid dependence. Read full article

Hot topics in gambling: gambling blocking apps, loot boxes, and ‘crypto-trading addiction’ [open access article]

Griffiths, M.D. (2018). Online Gambling Lawyer, 17(7), 9-11.

Abstract: During the last couple of months, there have been a number of gambling-related topics that have hit the headlines. In this short article, Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Behavioural Addiction at Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit, provides a brief overview of some of the most significant developments including: banks introducing gambling blocking apps, gaming disorder and the buying of in-game loot boxes, and ‘crypto-trading addiction’. Full article available online from Nottingham Trent University available 1/8/2018

Crime and gambling disorders: A systematic review [subscription access article]

Adolphe, A., Khatib, L., van Golde, C. et al. (2018). Journal of Gambling Studies. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-018-

It is generally believed that there is an instrumental relationship between problem gambling and crime such that some gamblers resort to illegal activity to recoup financial shortfalls resulting from their gambling. However, a clear understanding of the risk factors for the commission of crimes beyond financial stresses is absent in the literature. The aim of this review was to identify the nature of crimes perpetrated by problem gamblers and the factors that contribute to the commission of gambling-related crimes. A systematic review adhering to guidelines outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement searching eight databases—PsycINFO, Westlaw AU, Heinonline, Legal Source via Ebsco, Legaltrac via Gale, PubMed, Scopus, and Medline—was conducted. A total of 21 papers were included after screening and application of exclusion criteria. All studies examined reported crimes committed by problem gamblers, with a validated assessment tool measuring problem gambling. The review provided evidence that gambling-related crime typically consists of non-violent, income-generating offences. However, it also revealed that problem gamblers may commit violent crimes at a higher than expected rate, which may have been concealed by deliberate and unintentional under-reporting of gambling-related crimes. The causal relationship between problem gambling and violent crime, however, remains uncertain. Based on this review, suggestions are offered for the evaluation of perpetrators of gambling-related crime on a case-by-case basis, to better understand the relationship between gambling and crime and facilitate more frequent application of therapeutic jurisprudence in future. Article details and references

Setting limits: gambling, science and public policy [open access presentation]

By Pekka Sulkunen, Professor Emeritus, CEACG, Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki. From the Gambling addiction: science, independence, transparency symposium, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2018.

The present symposium follows congresses entitled “from legislation to action” and “preventing excessive gambling within an addictive society”, organized in 2005 and 2008 in the University of Lausanne. The most recent edition; “Excessive gambling: Prevention and Harm Reduction” was held at the University of Neuchatel in 2014. Gambling addiction and other addictive behaviours “without substances”, represent an ever-increasing challenge for health and prevention policies, and their evaluation. This is particularly influenced by the transnational context of the Internet and current opportunities for electronic gambling, which are designed to be addictive. The 4th edition of the symposium will, therefore, focus on monitoring systems and ways to directly approach and handle conflicts of interest between stakeholders. This symposium addresses public social health including professionals practicing in the field of prevention and gambling addiction, and more generally, addictive behaviours. But its aim is also to attract all allied professionals interested in these issues, including: Legal and economic professionals, politicians, public health professionals and those working in the prevention field, excessive gambling and addictions researchers, professionals concerned with operator social responsibility, etc. Access PowerPoint presentation

Factors influencing internet gamblers’ use of offshore online gambling sites: policy implications [subscription access article]

Gainsbury Sally M., Abarbanel, Brett & Blaszczynski Alex. (2018). Policy & Internet. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/poi3.182

Abstract: Gambling is a heavily regulated activity, but policies are difficult to enforce in the online context. While governments may attempt to restrict access to licensed providers only, consumers can access offshore sites, creating a potential risk of harm and reducing taxation. This article examines how consumers select Internet gambling sites, and the characteristics of those who use offshore as opposed to domestic sites. Past‐month Australian Internet‐gamblers (N = 1,001, 57.2 percent male) completed an online survey. Participants responded to questions about their online gambling, including use of offshore sites, reasons for site selection, awareness of regulations, preferences for regulated sites, and gambling‐related problems. Offshore gamblers (52.7 percent) were a distinct demographic cohort, and were more highly involved in online gambling. Lack of awareness of gambling regulation did not sufficiently explain use of offshore gambling sites; rather, both groups had a relatively low concern for where a site was regulated, choosing sites instead based on ease of use, and cues that they were designed for gamblers in the advertised jurisdiction. Use of offshore gambling sites may be discouraged by focusing on the benefits of domestic sites and ensuring that these can provide a good consumer experience. View article details and access options

Measuring gambling-related harms: a framework for action / Gambling Commission, Birmingham, UK. [open access report]

Wardle, Heather and Reith, Gerda and Best, David and McDaid, David and Platt, Stephen.(2018). Measuring gambling-related harms: a framework for action. Gambling Commission, Birmingham, UK.

Foreword: The Gambling Commission exists to safeguard consumers and the wider public by making gambling fairer and safer. To do this we need to balance consumer choice and enjoyment against the risks gambling can create and its impact on wider society. Working with partners to gain a better understanding of gambling-related harms is one of the priorities we set in our three-year strategy, making gambling fairer and safer. This document is a key step towards a better understanding of gambling-related harms.
Gambling-related harms include impacts on relationships, finances and health. They are experienced by individuals, families, communities, the economy and society as whole. This report provides a useful framework to consider how these harms can be measured and understood better. But the authors do not intend it to be definitive. It is a platform for further input and for taking the next steps on a set of priority topics where work can be focused on gathering the evidence we require. Full report available from the London School of Economics Research Online

Supporting older people experiencing gambling-related harm: insights from practitioners [research presentation available online]

Stephanie Bramley, Caroline Norrie, Jill Manthorpe / Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London.

Overview of our research:
1. Improve the understanding of gambling-related harm for adults with health and social care needs.
2. Examine what key informants know about harmful gambling among adults with health and social care needs and their understanding of the risks to vulnerable adults arising from their own or others’ gambling participation.
3. Examine what practitioners know about harmful gambling among adults with health and social care needs, their understanding of the risks to vulnerable adults arising from their own or others’ gambling participation and their management of cases of gambling-related harm. View presentation online from King’s College London website

Induced moods, warning messages, and gambling behavior [open access thesis]

Bradley, Lindsey. (2018). Induced moods, warning messages, and gambling behavior (Master of Science, Georgia Southern University). Retrieved from: digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/etd/1791

From abstract: The current study sought to bridge a gap between the literature on gambling warning messages and literature on the effect of affect on risky decisionmaking. If a case is to be made for implementing mandatory gambling warning messages, it is important to examine if the effectiveness of warning messages is modulated by affect. Participants were randomly assigned to be induced with either positive or negative affect, and to either receive gambling warning messages or not receive gambling warning messages. It was hypothesized that those induced with positive affect would have higher levels of risk-taking than those induced with negative affect. It was also hypothesized that there would be an interaction effect between affect condition and warning message condition. Results showed that there was not a significant difference in risk-taking behavior between those who received warning messages and those who did not receive warning messages. There was a trend towards a significant difference based on affect condition, in that those induced with negative affect had slightly higher levels of risk-taking than those induced with positive affect. No significant interaction effects were detected. Access thesis online from Georgia Southern University Digital Commons

Can a brief telephone intervention for problem gambling help to reduce co-existing depression? A three-year prospective study in New Zealand [subscription access article]

Ranta, J., Bellringer, M., Garrett, N. et al. (2018). Journal of Gambling Studies. Retrieved from link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10899-018-9783-x

Abstract: Problematic gambling and depression commonly co-exist, with limited research indicating that depression and/or psychological distress appear to reduce with brief interventions for problem gambling. The present study was designed to examine the effect, over 36 months, of a brief problem gambling intervention on depression in a population of people seeking help for gambling issues. One-hundred and thirty-one participants were recruited from adult (18+ years) gambler callers to the New Zealand national gambling helpline. They received a manualised version of the helpline’s brief intervention, and were assessed at baseline, 12 and 36 months. Overall, problem gambling severity reduced from a score of 17 (using the Problem Gambling Severity Index) at baseline to a score of 7.5 at 36 months. The percentage of participants with depression reduced from 74% at baseline to 41% at 36 months. For both problem gambling and depression, the greatest reduction was in the first 12 months. Multiple logistic regression analyses at baseline showed an association between problem gambling and depression. Repeated measures logistic regression indicated that reduced problem gambling severity reduced depression and that there was no independent time effect taking place (i.e. the decreased depression was not due to natural recovery). Thus a single brief telephone intervention for problem gambling substantially reduced the prevalence of depression. This has clinical and public health implications with a benefit being that people with depression and co-existing gambling problems may not necessarily need additional treatment for depression if they receive treatment for their gambling issues. View article details, references and access options

Participant reflections on gambling treatment services [open access summary of a research project]

Olmstead, C. and Cobb, A. (2018). Participant reflections on gambling treatment services. Undergraduate Student Work. 3. Retrieved from scholarworks.uni.edu/ugswork/3

Background: The Iowa Gambling Treatment Outcomes Monitoring System is an ongoing project implemented by the UNI-CSBR for the purpose of assessing the extent to which state-sponsored problem gambling treatment services are associated with positive outcomes for clients. This study used six-month follow-up questionnaire data from 2013 to 2017 for those Iowans who received gambling treatment services from state licensed providers regarding their perception and opinions of services received while in treatment. Access research summary