A mixed methods analysis of gambling harm for women in New Zealand [Ministry of Health report]

Gendered roles and unrealistic expectations contribute to gambling related harm for women.

A new Ministry of Health funded report reveals that gambling venues often provide convenient and safe spaces, and relief from family responsibilities, for women with a lack of social support.

The report on gambling related harm for women in New Zealand, released today, highlights a gap in social services and safe recreational alternatives to gambling for women in their local communities.
Dr Katie Palmer du Preez, Senior Research Fellow at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), says gender issues and ideology influence gambling behaviour and harm.
“Women’s socio-cultural positioning as primary caregivers contributes to gambling harm by placing unrealistic expectations on them, while simultaneously constraining their ability to prioritise their own wellbeing. Gambling venues in local communities offer some women respite, distraction, comfort and connection or time-out, but also place them at heightened risk of gambling problems and harm,” she says.
Of particular concern was the finding that women’s gambling in community settings may be normalised or seen as a less harmful way of coping with family stress and distress than alcohol or smoking.
The report recommends that gambling services should position themselves to identify and advocate specifically for the needs of women.. Link to the report
Citation: Palmer du Preez, K., Mauchline, L., Paavonen, A., Thurlow, R., Garrett, N., Bellringer, M.E., Landon, J., & Abbott, M. (2019). A mixed methods analysis of gambling harm for women in New Zealand. Auckland: Auckland University of Technology, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre.

Financial literacy and gambling behavior: Evidence from Japan [open access article]

According to a survey by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in 2017, 3.6% of Japanese adults—equivalent to about 3.2 million people—have suffered from problem gambling at some point in their lifetime. This study examines the relationship between financial literacy, financial education, and gambling behavior (measured as gambling frequency) among the Japanese population. We hypothesize that financially literate and financially educated people who use their knowledge to make sound financial decisions are less likely to gamble. The data used in this study are from a nationwide survey in Japan from the Preference Parameters Study of Osaka University in 2010 (n=3687). To control for endogeneity bias between financial literacy and gambling behavior, we use the education of respondents’ fathers as an instrumental variable. The results from the probit-instrumental variable model show that financial literacy has a significantly negative relationship with gambling frequency, while financial education has no  significant relationship with gambling frequency. Our findings suggest that problem gambling may be mitigated by promoting financial literacy, but no such conclusion can be drawn for financial education. Link to the article

Citation: Watanapongvanich, S., Binnagan, P., Putthinun, P., Khan, M.S.R., & Kadoya, Y. (2020). Financial literacy and gambling behavior: Evidence from Japan. Hiroshima: Hiroshima University, Department of Economics.

Neurophysiological correlates of the near-miss effect in gambling [subscription access article]

The near-miss effect in gambling refers to a losing situation that is (or perceived to be) close to a win by the gambler. This effect is one of the many cognitive distortions that can occur during gambling games. The main objective of the present study was to analyze the electrophysiological correlates of the near-miss effect via an event-related potential (ERP) study examining four distinct gambling outcomes: win, full miss, near-miss before the payline, and near-miss after the payline. This study comprised 23 healthy voluntary participants (10 women) with ages ranging between 19 and 34 years (M = 22.5; SD = 3.65). All participants completed the South Oaks Gambling Screen and played a computerized slot machine, programed to induce the near-miss effect and specifically designed for an ERP study. By splitting the near-miss effect in two subtypes (before and after the payline), increased feedback-related negativity (FRN) was found for the near-misses after the payline in comparison to losses and also to near-misses before the payline. Results also indicated an increased P300 amplitude for the near-misses before the payline compared both with losses and with near-misses after the payline. The results suggest that both FRN and P300 present different sensitivities to near-miss subtypes, suggesting a payline effect that is not demonstrated when the data of near-misses before and after the payline are analyzed together. This is the first study to analyze the effect of the near-miss subtype in an ERP study and confirms the findings of previous behavioral studies. Article access details

Citation: Dores, A.R., Rocha, A., & Paiva, T. et al. (2020). Neurophysiological correlates of the near-miss effect in gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-020-09937-2

Frequency of engagement with legal UK youth gambling products is associated with adult disordered gambling [open access article]

The potential effects of exposing children aged under 18 to gambling is an area of concern for researchers and policy-makers around the world. The UK is rare in that it allows for a number of gambling products to be legally used by people under the age of 18. The present research is a retrospective cross-sectional study of 1,052 adult UK gamblers, aged 18 – 40. Five legal youth gambling products were considered: Category D fruit machines, the National Lottery, National Lottery scratchcards, coin push machines, and crane grab machines. Recalled rates of legal youth engagement were high, ranging from 53.7% for Category D fruit machines to 93.4% for coin push machines. Across each product, merely having used a legal youth gambling product in the past was not associated with adult disordered gambling, except for scratchcards. However, higher levels of recollected legal youth engagement with each of the five products was robustly associated with adult disordered gambling. These results are relevant to recent government proposals to increase the legal age on National Lottery scratchcards to 18, and are consistent with previous results on early exposure to gambling and subsequent gambling-related harm. Link to the article

Citation: Newall, P.W.S., Russell, A.M.T., Sharman, S., Walasek, L. (2020). Frequency of engagement with legal UK youth gambling products is associated with adult disordered gambling. Melbourne: Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity