“Impulsiveness and urgency:” Gambling advertising and the 2018 soccer World Cup [open access article]

Newall, P. W. S., Thobhani, A., Walasek, L., & Meyer, C. (2018). https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/3uc9s

Abstract: Recent guidance from the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority states that gambling adverts should not “unduly pressure the audience to gamble.” Live-odds adverts display current betting odds during breaks in televised soccer, e.g., “Kylian Mbappe to score next, 9-to-1.” In this preprint, it is argued that the 63 “live-odds” TV adverts shown over 32 matches by 5 bookmakers during the 2018 soccer World Cup do not comply with the regulator’s intentions. Live-odds were advertised as being inherently unstable. In total, 15 adverts showed a recent improvement in odds. Of these, 10 adverts were for “flash odds . . ., which means that if you’re not quick enough, they could be gone in a flash.” And 36 adverts were shown during the half-time break. There were common themes across bookmakers’ live-odds advertising, supporting previous studies on how live-odds adverts align with probabilistic cognitive illusions. We believe that sufficient evidence exists to justify banning live-odds adverts. Download full article


Problem gambling and gaming in elite athletes [open access article]

Håkansson, A., Kenttä, G. & Åkesdotter, C. (2018). Abrep. doi:10.1016/j.abrep.2018.08.003

Background: High-level sports have been described as a risk situation for mental health problems and substance misuse. This, however, has been sparsely studied for problem gambling, and it is unknown whether problem gaming, corresponding to the tentative diagnosis of internet gaming disorder, may be overrepresented in athletes. This study aimed to study the prevalence and correlates of problem gambling and problem gaming in national team-level athletes.

Methods: A web-survey addressing national team-level athletes in university studies (survey participation 60%) was answered by 352 individuals (60% women, mean age 23.7), assessing mental health problems, including lifetime history of problem gambling (NODS-CLiP) and problem gaming (GASA).

Results: Lifetime prevalence of problem gambling was 7% (14% in males, 1% in females, p < 0.001), with no difference between team sports and other sports. Lifetime prevalence of problem gaming was 2% (4% in males and 1% in females, p = 0.06). Problem gambling and problem gaming were significantly associated (p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Moderately elevated rates of problem gambling were demonstrated, however with large gender differences, and interestingly, with comparable prevalence in team sports and in other sports. Problem gaming did not seem more common than in the general population, but an association between problem gambling and problem gaming was demonstrated. Access full article

Predictors of gambling-related problems in adult internet gamblers [open access thesis]

Foote, B. (2018). (PhD Thesis, Walden University). Retrieved from scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6833&context=dissertations

Abstract: The use of the Internet to gamble has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Although researchers have suggested that adult Internet gamblers are at high risk for developing a gambling disorder, few studies, overall, have been conducted on the effects of Internet gambling. Furthermore, conflicting research exists regarding what moderates gambling-related problems. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if age, gender, and emotions prior to the gambling experience are related predictors of Internet problem gambling severity. A retrospective design was used. The pathways model was used to support the belief that emotions felt before an Internet gambling session are associated with the severity of the gambling problem. Data were obtained from adult Internet gamblers who had Internet gambled in the preceding week. One hundred and fifty participants completed an online survey about the emotions they felt before an Internet-gambling session and self-reported the negative consequences of their gambling. The survey contained demographic questions, questions from the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (to assess emotions felt before participants’ last Internet gambling session), and questions from the Problem Gambling Severity Index. The results of the multiple linear regression analysis were significant, indicating that, as a group, participants’ age, gender, and emotions felt prior to the gambling experience predicted their problem gambling severity. This study can assist with prevention, early intervention, and treatment of adult Internet gamblers. Access thesis online from the University of Walden

The economics of gambling: A collection of essays (open access thesis)

Wheeler, Rhys (2018). (PhD Thesis, Lancaster University). Retrieved from: eprints.lancs.ac.uk/126780/1/2018wheelerphd.pdf

Abstract: Chapter 2 examines the harm associated with being a problem gambler. Problem gambling is conventionally determined by having a score in a questionnaire screen that exceeds some critical value. The UK is fortunate in having large representative sample surveys that embed such questions, and our estimate from the 2010 survey is that several hundred thousand people in the UK could be afflicted by PG. However, existing literature has not evaluated the size of the harm associated with being a problem gambler and this chapter uses this individual level survey data to evaluate the effect of problem gambling on self-reported well-being. Together with a corresponding effect of income on well-being a money-metric of the harm associated with being a problem gambler is derived. An important methodological challenge is that well-being and the harm experienced may be simultaneously determined. Nonetheless, instrumental variable estimates suggest that problem gambling imposes an even larger reduction in well-being than least squares would suggest. The role of gambling expenditures in the transmission between problem gambling and well-being is considered, distinguishing between draw-based games, such as lotto, from scratchcards, and from other forms of gambling.

Chapter 3 investigates the price elasticity of demand for the UK National Lottery – astate-licensed, draw-based lotto game. Little is known about the price elasticity of demand for gambling products because the “price” is typically hard to define. The exception is “lotto” where an economics literature has focused on the response of sales to variations in the prize distribution. Existing literature has used these responses make inferences about the price elasticity of demand, where price is defined as the cost of entry minus the expected winnings. In particular, the variation in the value of the jackpot prize pool, due to rollovers that are a feature of lotto, has been used as an instrument for price. This chapter argues that rollovers do not make valid instruments, because of their correlation with lagged sales, and propose an alternative identification strategy which exploits two arcane features of lotto. Finally, this chapter evaluates whether changes to the design of the UK National Lottery in 2013 and 2015 had a positive effect on the sales figures.

Chapter 4 investigates the extent to which the large, flat-rate tax imposed on the UK National Lottery is regressive. This chapter evaluates a Working-Leser demand model for lotto tickets using both Heckman’s selection model and Cragg’s double hurdle estimator using v household-level data. A unique strategy is employed to identify these two-stage routines by exploiting exogenous differences in consumer preference arising from religious practice. The income elasticity of lottery tickets is found to be significantly lower than previous estimates, suggesting that lottery tickets are inferior goods and that the (high) flat-rate tax imposed on lotto tickets is more regressive than previously thought. Whilst the three chapters are stand-alone essays, they are linked by the use of modern statistical techniques and the use of the best possible data. Together, they address key issues on the economics of gambling and the results are new to their respective literatures and of interest to academics and policy makers alike. Access thesis online

A study into the themes and typologies of binge gambling episodes [presentation available online]

By Verity Harris. Supervisors: Dr. Amanda Roberts and Dr Stephen Sharman.

Motive & methods: Research suggests to look into the patterns and relationships of binge gambling with other gambling types. Themes and typologies of problem gamblers binge episodes, to gain potential insight into binge gamblers episodes. Gordon Moody Association: intensive residential treatment programme in the UK for the most severely addicted. Access to 10 years worth of data. 52 interviews used, aged 21– 63, all males. Thematic Analysis: Chosen for it’s flexibility, simple use and ability to analyse latent level of data. Ethics has been collected and approved by SOPREC; Research discussing binge gamblers is in reference to Nower and Blaszczynski (2003). View presentation online

Neighborhood Perceptions and Gambling Behaviors [presentation available online]

Eva Monson, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Canada.

• Relationships between environmental factors and health-related behaviors
• Neighborhood contextual factors and mental illness
• Associations between neighborhood context and gambling participation and problems
View presentation online