The nature of gambling-related harm for adults with health and social care needs: an exploratory study of the views of key informants [open-access article].

Aim: To explore the views of professionals working within health, care and other agencies about harmful gambling among adults with health and social care needs.
Background: Gambling is increasingly seen as a public health rather than an individual problem. Opportunities to gamble have grown in England in the last decade since the liberalisation of the gambling industry meaning that gambling is widely available, accessible and advertised within society. An estimated two million people in the UK are at risk of developing a gambling problem, some of whom may be adults with health and social care needs.
Methods: Twenty-three key informants from primary care, social care services and third sector organisations in England were interviewed about their understanding of the risks to adults with health and social care needs from gambling participation.
Findings: Thematic analysis revealed four themes: (1) gambling-related harm as a public health problem; (2) identification of groups of adults with health and social care needs who may be vulnerable to gambling-related harm; (3) factors potentially impeding the identification of gambling-related harm among adults with health and social care needs and subsequent helpseeking behaviour and (4) calls for professional development activities. Informants reported a perceived lack of awareness of gambling-related harm and a lack of a clear pathway or guidance which they could follow when supporting individuals experiencing gambling-related harm. Interviewees called for professional development activities to improve their knowledge and expertise in this area. Article available online

Reference: Bramley, S., Norrie, C., & Manthorpe, J. (2019) The nature of gambling related harm for adults with health and social care needs: an exploratory study of the views of key informants. Primary Health Care Research & Development 20(e115): 1–7. doi: 10.1017/ S1463423619000549

[Comment] Passing the ball: The United States Supreme Court strikes down PASPA and throws sports gambling back to the state legislatures / Hunter M. Haines [open-access article].

Though largely banned throughout the early 1900s, gambling experienced a rebirth in the second half of the twentieth century. Shortly after the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, however, federal legislators were worried that gambling would extend beyond traditional casino gambling and into the realm of sports, a possibility legislators unanimously opposed. Sports gambling had long been opposed by many legislators fearing it would corrupt amateur and professional sports organizations.
Validating legislators’ opposition and fear, several sports gambling scandals in the 1900s utilized bribery and extortion to compromise athletes. For example, in 1919, eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation’s leading gamblers to manipulate the outcome of the World Series of Major League Baseball (“MLB”) to guarantee and collect a lucrative payout—infamously becoming known as “The Black Sox.” Thus, in 1992, with the support of those opposing sports gambling, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), a statute that prohibited wagering on amateur and professional sports. Article available online

Reference: Haines, H.M. (2019). Passing the ball: The United States Supreme Court strikes down PASPA and throws sports gambling back to the state legislatures. Maryland Law Review, 78(3), 604-635.

Responsible gambling research and industry funding biases [subscription access article].

Abstract: This brief report examines whether there are differences in aspects of different characteristics, including design/methodologies of responsible gambling (RG), between studies funded by industry as compared to other sources. To investigate this, the authors used those studies included in a recent meta-analysis focusing on the empirical basis of RG initiatives (Ladouceur et al. in Addict Res Theory 25:225–235, 2017). We examined eight associations between funding sources, and different design/methodological characteristics of these studies; type of strategy, inclusion of comparison groups, measurement scales and repeated measures, publication source, number of inclusion criteria met, secondary sources of funding, publication year. The results revealed no statistically significant difference between the funding source, and the index study characteristics. These results do not support claims that funding exerts influence on the design or methodologies of RG studies. However, the absence of statistically significant findings should not be used to assert the absence of a funding effect because there are many reasons for failing to find differences, or interpretation of findings. Unexpectedly, a third of the papers included in this study failed to disclose their funding sources. This finding highlights the need for more open and transparent disclosures. Article details and access conditions

Reference: Ladouceur, R., Shaffer, P., Blaszczynski, A. et al. (2019). Responsible gambling research and industry funding biases. Journal of Gambling Studies, 35(725).

Challenges of gaming disorder: Suggestions from a public health perspective [open-access article].

Introduction: Based on the results from numerous studies and discussions by expert groups organised by the WHO, gaming disorder is recognised as a mental disorder and is listed in the chapter of mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders in the recently released International Classification of Diseases, 11th Version (ICD-11). Gaming disorder, gambling disorder and substance use disorder belong to the same category of mental disorder. This change will help improve the public’s awareness and understanding of gaming disorder. Meanwhile, it will encourage related research and develop scientific and effective interventions for the purpose of negative consequences reduction. Short article available online

Reference: Zhao, M., & Hao., W. (2019). Challenges of gaming disorder: Suggestions from a public health perspective. General Psychiatry, 32(e100086). doi: 10.1136/gpsych-2019-100086

The Iowa Gambling Task: A review of the historical evolution, scientific basis, and use in functional neuroimaging [open-access article].

Abstract: The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) provides a framework to evaluate an individual decision-making process through a simulated card game where the risks and rewards vary by the decks chosen. Participants are expected to understand the logic behind the allocation of gains and losses over the course of the test and adapt their pattern of choices accordingly. This review explores the scientific work on studying problem gambling via the IGT while employing neuroimaging techniques. We first concentrate on the historical evolution of the IGT as a mechanism for studying gamblers’ behavioral patterns. Our research will also discuss the prefrontal cortex as this region of the brain is most affected by changes in behavioral patterns. In this review, we describe a number of features that may be useful in investigating decision-making patterns that lead to gambling addiction. We discuss the evidence base to date including experiments involving gambling behavior in different groups of participants (e.g., males and females, adults and minors, patients and controls) and alterations to experiment conditions that provide more thorough understanding of thought patterns in potential gamblers. We conclude that psychological testing combined with functional imaging provide powerful tools to further examine the relationships between functional impairment of the brain and a person’s ability to objectively anticipate the end results of their decisions. Article available online

Reference: Aram, S., Levy, L., Patel, J.B., Anderson, A.A., Zaragoza, R., Dashtestani, H., Chowdhry, F.A., Gandjbakhche, A., & Tracy, J. K. (2019). The Iowa Gambling Task: A review of the historical evolution, scientific basis, and use in functional neuroimaging. SAGE Open.

Integrating psilocybin and existential-humanistic psychotherapy for pathological gambling treatment: a new perspective [open-access article].

Abstract: In the last years, the debate on the use of psychedelics in psychotherapeutic settings has intensified, attracting a lot of interest and attention from the scholarly community as well as from clinicians and paving the way for new therapeutic paradigms. Besides classical addictions and addictive behaviors, there exist forms of addictions, the so-called new addictions or behavioral addictions, whose characterization is not linked so much to substances but to widespread and socially accepted activities such as games, shopping, internet use, sex, love relationships, work and exercises, physical activities or sports.
Among the various addictions, the gambling disorder is the first form of behavioral addictions officially recognized by the DSM-V, in accordance with a wealth of neurobiological and clinical data showing the activation in patients of the gratification systems (especially dopamine).
Orthos, as intensive residential intervention program envisaging a non-moralistic approach to gambling, can be combined with the administration of psilocybin, a substance characterized by a very low potential for abuse, modulating brain areas and networks affected by addictive behaviors. Therefore, our proposal would be to start treating behavioral addictions combining psilocybin administration with existential-humanistic psychotherapy, like Orthos. Article available online

Reference: Raymondo, S., & Firenzuoli, F. (2019). Integrating psilocybin and existential-humanistic psychotherapy for pathological gambling treatment: a new perspective. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 15(1), 228–236.

Promoting cross-sector collaboration and input into care planning via an integrated problem gambling and mental health service [open-access article].

Abstract: Although problem gambling and mental illnesses are highly comorbid, there are few examples of integrated problem gambling and mental illness services. This has meant that it is unclear whether such services are needed, why they may be used, and how they operate to support clients who are affected by the comorbidity and the clinicians who are providing care. This study reports on data collected via telephone questionnaire-assisted interviews of 20 clients and 19 referrers who had accessed one such Australian integrated problem gambling and mental illness program between July 2014 and June 2016.
Data revealed that clients were often referred in the context of psychiatric or psychosocial crisis, or when clinicians encountered clients who were not making progress and wanted a second opinion about diagnosis and treatment. Improved management of illness symptoms or gambling behaviour was a commonly reported benefit, and a number of clients reported gaining a feeling of reassurance and hope following assessment as a result of a deeper understanding of their issues and available treatment options. Access to dual-specialist expertise on problem gambling and mental illness may therefore enhance treatment planning, management during crises, and cross-sector collaboration to improve access to care and its impact on people who are experiencing comorbidity. Article available online

Reference: McCartney, L.E., Northe, V., Gordon, S., Symons, E., Shields, R., Kennedy, A., & Lee, S.J. (2019). Promoting cross-sector collaboration and input into care planning via an integrated problem gambling and mental health service. Journal of Gambling Issues, 42.

A comparative overview of Esports against traditional sports focused in the legal realm of monetary exploitation, cheating, and gambling [open-access article].

Introduction: In the modern age of technology, there is a type of sport that has rapidly risen to the forefront of both the entertainment and legal worlds: eSports. Until recently, the eSports market has been minor and insignificant. A variety of factors have contributed to the rapid rise of the eSports market, including the continued enthusiasm of the millennial generation for electronic entertainment systems. Today, the eSports market has become a multi-million dollar industry, as more governments and corporate entities acknowledge eSports as a legitimate market. Despite the rapid growth in the eSports market, the growth itself is not all positive. Similar to the challenges faced by the traditional sports markets such as football, soccer, and baseball, the eSports industry faces somewhat distinct challenges that are inherently tied to the growth of an industry.
This Note analyzes a few of the similarities and differences between the eSports industry and the traditional sports industry, utilizing the specific context of monetary exploitation, cheating, and gambling. One of the critical issues apparent from a comparison between the eSports industry and the traditional sports industry—through the lens of monetary exploitation, cheating, and gambling—is the lack of a centralized and established eSports governance structure in the United States. The dominant trend towards regulation has been through eSports organizations such as Twitch, ELEAGUE, Electronic Sports League (ESL), World eSports Association (WESA), and eSports Integrity Coalition (ESIC).
On an international level, different countries have addressed the lack of eSports governance and regulation in different ways. In the United States, while the government has applied the pertinent laws and regulations to industries such as the traditional sports industry, the unique characteristics of eSports, such as in-game gambling, have often left the eSports industry in a “legal gray area.” Article available online

Reference: Yun, S.K. (2019). A comparative overview of Esports against traditional sports focused in the legal realm of monetary exploitation, cheating, and gambling. Cardoza Arts & Entertainment, 37(2), 513-551. Retrieved from

An empirical study of the effect of voluntary limit-setting on gamblers’ loyalty using behavioural tracking data [open-access article].

Abstract: Online gambling has become increasingly popular over the past decade as has research using behavioural tracking (player account) data. To date, there is no study that has empirically investigated the effects of responsible gambling tools on loyalty. In the present study, the effect of voluntary limit-setting on player loyalty was evaluated over time using tracking data provided by an online gambling operator. More specifically, the authors were given access to an anonymised dataset of 175,818 players who had placed at least one bet or gambled at least once during January 2016 to May 2017 at the online gambling operator Kindred. The average age of the players was 31 years, and overall 18,484 of the players were female (10.5%). The dataset comprised a 20% random sample of the total player population of Kindred. In each of ten playing intensity groups, the percentage of active players in the first quarter of 2017 was higher in the group of players who had set voluntary money limits in the first quarter of 2016 compared to players that did not (suggesting players that set voluntary spending limits are more loyal compared to those who do not). The implications of these findings are discussed. Article available online

Reference: Auer, M., Hopfgartner, N., & Griffiths, M.D. (2019). An empirical study of the effect of voluntary limit-setting on gamblers’ loyalty using behavioural tracking data. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

How important is gambling in national GDP: Case study from Austria, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia [open-access article].

Purpose – The situation in the field of gambling is changing due to the rise of Internet and Mobile gambling. In general gambling consumption is increasing every year, but the distribution of consumption has radically changed from Land Based gambling to Remote gambling. The purpose of this article is to present an overview of the world gambling industry and a specific overview in Austria, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia in order to find some main similarities and differences in observed period.
Design/Methodology/Approach – The main research question is How important is gambling for the involved countries and what proportion of the national GDP does the gambling revenue account for? This paper presents the analysis of five statistical databases for the last sixteen years in order to find out some patterns, cyclical or seasonal features or other significant information that allows us to do forecasting of the future revenue with a certain degree of accuracy. We have systematically searched and collected data from the World Bank and the National Statistical Offices websites of the given countries. Statistical methods were used for benchmark analysis, while Box and Jenkins approach and ARIMA modelling were used for forecasting.
Findings – The smallest increase was recorded in Slovenia and the largest in Italy. The same effects were also observed in the GDP of these countries. Thus, the state budgets of Croatia and Italy are increasingly dependent on gambling taxes. It also has negative wages. The gambling addictions among the locals have become more frequent as well.
Originality of the research – The article shows the forecasts of the gambling revenue and its share in the GDP by 2027. We want to alert decision makers to adopt appropriate policies. States need to rethink their views on gambling and the excessive dependence of the state budget on gambling taxes. This is the first time a single comparative analysis of these countries and the above mentioned forecast has been conducted. Article available online

Reference: Raspor, A., et al. (2019). How important is gambling in national GDP: Case study from Austria, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. Economics – Innovation and Economic Research, 7(1), 31-49. Retrieved from