Background: Gambling is now a well-recognised public health issue and forms the focus of extensive harm reduction initiatives. Recent developments in policy, practice and technology, such relaxation of regulations, the increasing influence of global gambling corporations, and the development of devices such as mobile phone apps and fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) mean that the landscape is a complex, dynamic, and fast moving one. Gambling is now practiced using new technologies, in various spaces and places, and features in a range of social surroundings. Therefore, research is needed to inform appropriate gambling harm reduction strategies that can respond to this complex domain. Yet, research and policy approaches to the reduction of gambling harm are predominantly framed through psychological and economic models of individual behaviour, addiction, and ‘rational’ action. This is beginning to change, with a growing corpus of socio-cultural approaches to gambling research now emerging. Link to the article
Citation: Gordon, R., Reith, G. (2019). Gambling as social practice: a complementary approach for reducing harm? Harm Reduction Journal, 16(64). doi:10.1186/s12954-019-0342-
- Despite being illegal, one in six 16-17 year olds reported having gambled in the past year.
- More boys than girls reported having gambled on private betting, sports betting and poker.
- Although 65% of parents reported having gambled at least once in the past year, the majority (around 90%) were non-problem gamblers.
- Boys who had either been the victim or perpetrator of bullying at school were more likely to report having gambled.
- At age 16-17, around one in four boys (24%) and one in seven girls (15%) reported having played gambling-like games in the past 12 months.
- Teenagers who engaged in risky behaviours such as smoking and drinking, or had friends who smoked or drank alcohol, were more likely to report having gambled. Link to the article
Citation: Warren, D., & Yu, M. (2019). Gambling activity among teenagers and their parents. LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2018. Retrieved from: https://growingupinaustralia.gov.au/research-findings/gambling-activity-among-teenagers-and-their-parents
Background: Prior data indicate high rates of problematic gambling in some racial-ethnic minority groups, yet research into mechanisms contributing to these associations is scant. The aim of the present study was to examine whether impulsivity and compulsivity differ across racial-ethnic groups in recreational gamblers.
Methods: Young adult non-treatment seeking recreational gamblers were recruited from the general community. Presence of mental health diagnoses (including gambling disorder) was exclusionary. Participants completed clinical interviews, questionnaires, and cognitive tasks germane to impulsivity and compulsivity.
Results: 202 recreational gamblers (63.5% males) had mean (standard deviation) age 23.8 (2.7) years and identified using the following racial-ethnic identities: Caucasian (N = 145), African-American (N = 41), and Asian (N = 16). Groups did not differ on age, gender, education, or impulsivity measures. Compared to the Caucasian group, the African-American group reported significantly higher endorsement of sub-syndromal disordered gambling, higher compulsivity scores, and exhibited decision-making decrements on the Gambling Task. The Asian and Caucasian groups did not differ on any measure.
Conclusions: This study suggests that young adult African-American recreational gamblers may experience greater levels of subsyndromal gambling compared to other racial-ethnic groups, and this appears linked with aspects of compulsivity. Future work should evaluate gambling longitudinally to better understand nuanced presentations across different groups, including in other age groups. Link to the article
Citation: Chamberlain, S.R., & Grant, J.E. (2020). Racial-ethnic differences in impulsivity and compulsivity in recreational gambling. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 97(152153). Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010440X19300768
Introduction: The past-year prevalence of problem gambling worldwide averages 2.3%. Switzerland exhibits a slightly lower past-year prevalence rate, of 1.1%, among adults. Only a minority of these adults attend outpatient treatment. Surveyed problem gamblers have explained that they wanted to handle the problem on their own. The option of a web-based self-help programme could potentially reach those users who hesitate to approach treatment centres and help them to reduce or stop their problem gambling. The effectiveness of such web-based interventions has been shown in other countries. Link to the article
Citation: Baumgartner, C., Bilevicius, E., Khazaal, Y., et al. (2019). Efficacy of a webbased self-help tool to reduce problem gambling in Switzerland: study protocol of a two-armed randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 9(e032110). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032110
Objective: To develop a framework to guide the application of public health advocacy
strategies aimed at preventing and reducing gambling-related harm.
Methods: A narrative review of theories of change and public health advocacy literature.
Results: An eight-step public health advocacy framework was created, which outlines the
critical steps and considerations when developing and implementing successful change
Implications for public health: To date, a clear public health advocacy approach to gambling harm prevention and reduction has not been well established. This study proposes a gamblingspecific framework to guide future public health advocacy efforts to prevent and reduce gambling harm. Link to the article
Citation: David, J.L., Thomas, S.L., Randle, M., & Daube, M. (2019). A public health advocacy approach for preventing and reducing gambling related harm. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Art. Online, 1-6.
To date, studies have highlighted cross-sectional and unidirectional prospective relationships between problem gambling and mental health symptoms or substance use. The current study aims to: (1) examine the reciprocal relationships between problem gambling and mental health symptoms (depression, generalized anxiety)/substance use variables (hazardous alcohol use, daily tobacco use, and drug use) using cross-lagged path models in a prospective general population cohort sample; and (2) determine whether these associations are moderated by age and gender. This study involved secondary data analysis from 1109 respondents who provided data during Wave 2 or 3 (12-months apart) of the Tasmanian Longitudinal Gambling Study (Australia). Depression (odds ratio (OR) = 2.164) and generalized anxiety (OR = 2.300) at Wave 2 were found to have cross-lagged associations with the subsequent development of any-risk gambling (low-risk, moderate-risk, or problem gambling) at Wave 3. Hazardous alcohol use, daily tobacco use, and drug use at Wave 2 were not associated with the development of any-risk gambling at Wave 3. Any-risk gambling at Wave 2 was not associated with the subsequent development of any mental health symptoms or substance use variables at Wave 3. Age and gender failed to be significant moderators in the associations between any-risk gambling and mental health symptoms or substance use variables. Future longitudinal and event-level research is required to further substantiate these prospective relationships, with a view to developing targeted preventions and interventions. Link to the article
Citation: Dowling, N.A., Butera, C.A., Merkouris, S.S., Youssef, G.J., Rodda, S.N., Jackson, A.C. (2019). The reciprocal association between problem gambling and mental health symptoms/substance use: Cross-lagged path modelling of longitudinal cohort data. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(1888). doi:10.3390/jcm8111888.
Given significant technological advances, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018 permitting U.S. states to offer and regulate sports wagering, and multiple international governments already regulating and licensing sports wagering operators, sports wagering will likely continue to grow exponentially. This expanding landscape of sports wagering may pose public health problems. This literature review provides a description of our current knowledge of sports gambling behaviour among adults, adolescents, and athletes, including prevalence rates and factors associated with problem gambling sports bettors. We highlight new issues that are surfacing, particularly the interaction between online betting, sports viewing, live betting, mobile technology, and sports fantasy gambling. We also address future research directions, including the need for longitudinal studies to clarify factors that contribute to the onset and maintenance of sports-related problem gambling, to examine the impact of major league sports leagues and professional teams that partner with gambling operators and casinos on gambling behaviour, and the need to assess public policy and treatment approaches. Link to the article
Citation: Winters, K.C. & Derevensky, J.L. (2019). A review of sports wagering: Prevalence, characteristics of sports bettors, and association with problem gambling. Journal of Gambling Issues, 43.
1.4 There is limited research examining gambling prevalence and behaviours in the UK and the associated social and economic costs and benefits. This lack of independent research affects the ability of academics and policymakers to understand fully the impacts of gambling to individuals and society as a whole.
1.5 Research using the CLOSER studies has investigated young people’s gambling behaviour. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) has asked study participants questions about gambling behaviour and investigated the background to regular and problem gambling. This research found that problem gambling behaviours are associated with poor mental health, involvement in crime and potentially harmful use of drugs and alcohol. It also highlights that the only gambling activity of study participants showing a consistent increase is online gambling and betting. Link to the article
Citation: Davies, R. (2019). Social and economic impact of the Gambling Industry Committee inquiry: The social and economic impact of the gambling industry. London: retrieved from: https://www.closer.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/CLOSER-written-evidence-Social-and-economic-impact-of-the-gambling-industry.pdf
- Some video games involve sophisticated in-game purchasing systems.
- These systems have drawn comparisons to electronic gambling activities.
- Some in-game purchasing systems employ player tracking to optimise offers.
- Research suggests a correlational link between in-game spending and gambling.
A recent innovation contributing to the massive growth and profitability of the gaming industry has been the development of in-game monetisation. In-game purchasing features (e.g. ‘loot boxes’, ‘skins’, and other microtransactions) have also generated debate in some jurisdictions as to whether some activities constitute a form of gambling. This brief review presents some academic perspectives and recent studies that have examined the validity of this claim. Evidence has focused on the nature of micro-transaction purchase behaviour, its similarity with gambling, parallel involvement in gambling, and its association with problematic gaming. Early evidence suggests that higher levels of involvement in monetised gaming activities may be associated with symptoms of problematic gaming or gambling. Link to the article
Citation: King, D.L., & Delfabbro, P.H. (2019). The convergence of gambling and monetised gaming activities. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 31, 32–36.
Purpose of Review
The playing of videogames has become an everyday occurrence among many adolescents and emerging adults. However, gaming can be problematic and potentially addictive and problematic gamers can experience co-occurring behavioral or substance use-related problems. The aims of the present review were to (i) determine the co-occurrence of potentially addictive behaviors with problematic and disordered gaming, and (ii) elucidate the potential risk factors in the development and maintenance of co-occurrence within disordered gaming.
The main findings demonstrated that there are few empirical studies (N = 20) examining (i) co-occurrence of gaming disorder with other addictive behaviors; (ii) longitudinal risk of disordered gaming with co-occurring addictive behaviors; and (iii) mechanisms of co-occurrence in disordered gaming with co-occurring potentially addictive behaviors. Results suggest that disordered gaming can co-occur with a variety of other addictive behaviors (e.g., alcohol use disorder or addictive use of social media), and that research into the co-occurrence of addictive behaviors and substance use is increasing. Link to the article. Link to the article
Citation: Burleigh, T.L., Griffiths, M.D., Sumich, A. et al. (2019). A systematic review of the co-occurrence of gaming disorder and other potentially addictive behaviors. Current Addiction Reports. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-019-00279-7