Exploring gambling craving through the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of desire: A mixed methods approach (full text)

By Cornil, A., Lopez-Fernandez, O., Devos, G., Timary, P., Goudriaan, A., & Billieux, J.

Abstract: Gambling disorder is a well-established behavioural addiction, which was classified with substance-related disorders in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Although craving was introduced as a new diagnostic criterion for substance-related disorders, it was not included for gambling disorder. This study aimed to explore the experience of gambling craving and to evaluate whether the elaborated intrusion theory of desire (EIT), a cognitive model of craving, fits gambling craving. A mixed methods study was conducted among 31 non-clinical gamblers. The qualitative part consisted of open-ended questions targeting the components of the EIT. The quantitative part consisted of a questionnaire designed to assess triggers and descriptions of gambling craving. Qualitative analysis revealed six distinct conceptual categories related to gambling craving: positive and negative affect, external cues, mental imageries, thoughts and physiological sensations. The quantitative analysis highlighted the most relevant triggers (e.g., spontaneous thoughts) and experiential characteristics (e.g., visual imagery) of gambling craving. The present study allowed us to support the relevance of the EIT as it applies to gambling craving by disentangling its core features. Findings from this study suggest that the use of interventions derived from the EIT may be relevant for problem gambling treatment.

Cornil, A., Lopez-Fernandez, O., Devos, G., Timary, P., Goudriaan, A., & Billieux, J. (2017). Exploring gambling craving through the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of desire: A mixed methods approach. International Gambling Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2017.1368686



Gambling-related embezzlement in the workplace: a qualitative study – open access

Binde, P. (2016).

People with severe gambling problems typically first spend all their available money on gambling and then resort to borrowing, selling personal property and other ways of procuring more money for gambling. Some problem gamblers commit economic crimes. This investigation examined gambling-related embezzlement in the workplace, an aspect of problem gambling that may severely harm the gambler, significant others and the employer. The methods used are the study of newspaper articles and qualitative interviews with 18 informants, including professionals in workplace security and drug-use prevention, therapists specializing in problem gambling treatment, counsellors from mutual support societies, and recovered problem gamblers who had embezzled. Gambling-related embezzlement often progresses in a characteristic sequence shaped by specific processes in which the gambler’s thoughts and emotions interact systemically with the monetary losses caused by participating in commercial gambling and the opportunity to embezzle money in the workplace. In this study, criminological theory of white collar crime usefully complemented psychological theories of problem gambling. It is concluded that a processual perspective, in addition to consideration of psychological and environmental factors, is valuable for understanding the progression to severe problem gambling.

Binde, P. (2016). Gambling-related embezzlement in the workplace: a qualitative study. International Gambling Studies, 0(0), 1–17. http://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2016.1214165

Raising the legal gambling age in Finland: problem gambling prevalence rates in different age groups among past-year gamblers pre- and post-implementation

Nordmyr, J., & Österman, K.
This article reports on the frequency of problem gambling, measured with the Lie/Bet instrument, in different age groups among Finnish past-year gamblers in 2011 (n = 2984) and 2014 (n = 2326). The data highlights the situation before, and three years after, the implementation of a raised minimum age limit for gambling from 15 to 18 years. The difference in problem gambling frequency when comparing all age groups was statistically significant in 2011, but not in 2014. A significantly lower frequency of problem gambling was found among 18–19-year-olds in 2014 (3.4%), compared to 2011 (16.3%). The results regarding problem gambling prevalence among 15–17-year-olds (8.0% in 2011, 0.0% in 2014) are somewhat inconclusive as the number of respondents fulfilling the criteria for problem gambling was zero in 2014, thus affecting the analysis. No statistically significant difference in problem gambling frequency was found among 20–21-year-olds (a group less affected by the policy implementation) – or other older age groups – between the survey years. While the findings should be viewed with caution, they do support recommendations regarding a minimum gambling age of 18 years or higher as an effective harm-minimization measure.
Nordmyr, J., & Österman, K. (2016). Raising the legal gambling age in Finland: problem gambling prevalence rates in different age groups among past-year gamblers pre- and post-implementation. International Gambling Studies, 0(0), 1–10. http://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2016.1207698

Gambling motivations and superstitious beliefs: a cross-cultural study with casino customers

The expansion of legalized commercial gaming in Macau has motivated stakeholders to explore opportunities in other Asian countries. However, there is a lack of research focusing on casino customers in these markets. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore gambling superstitious beliefs and motivations of those visiting a casino in South Korea, and how these factors are different across four ethnic groups. The researchers surveyed 323 casino customers in the lounge area on the casino floor, including Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans living abroad. This study found American gamblers could be characterized as more superstitious than Japanese gamblers, while the Chinese and American gamblers exhibited many similarities regarding the pattern of superstitious beliefs that they were most likely to endorse. The findings also suggest the culture and the area around the casino might be more important to Chinese, while novelty to Japanese and winning money to Korean gamblers are seen as most important. This study contributes to gambling literature by examining gamblers’ beliefs and motives in a different setting with more diverse populations than those in previous studies. The findings of this study will help casino operators properly develop and adjust strategies to thrive in the Asian marketplace.

Changes in risky gambling prevalence among a New Zealand population cohort

Evidence suggests that problem gambling is an unstable state where gamblers move into and out of risk over time. This article looks at longitudinal changes in risky gambling and the factors associated with an increased risk (measured by the Problem Gambling Severity Index [PGSI]) in the current New Zealand context, which has experienced a doubling of the electronic gaming machine (EGM) market over the last two decades. Respondents from a nationally representative baseline sample (n = 2672) were recontacted two years later to assess changes in gambling behaviours. Among the 901 respondents reached at follow-up, average gambling risk increased over time, and the prevalence of those who had at least some level of gambling risk (i.e. low-risk or greater) more than doubled (from 4.7% to 12.4%). The majority (80.2%) of those who were at risk at follow-up had not been at risk at baseline. Multivariate linear regression analyses show that the predictors of low to moderate increased risk include Pacific ethnicity; high neighbourhood deprivation status; baseline frequent, continuous gambler type; baseline PGSI status; and playing EGMs. These findings highlight the need to develop theories of gambling addiction trajectories and to identify the earliest point along the trajectory where public health interventions should occur.

Kruse, K., White, J., Walton, D. K., & Tu, D. (2016). Changes in risky gambling prevalence among a New Zealand population cohort. International Gambling Studies, 0(0), 1–19. http://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2016.1183033

How does the stigma of problem gambling influence help-seeking, treatment and recovery? a view from the counselling sector

Problem gambling attracts considerable public stigma and can cause significant self-stigma. However, little research has investigated the role of stigma during treatment-assisted recovery from problem gambling. This study aimed to examine gambling counsellors’ perspectives on whether and how the stigma associated with problem gambling influences problem acknowledgement, help-seeking, treatment and recovery. In-depth interviews with nine gambling counsellors from Victoria, Australia, were analysed to extract shared meanings of experiences using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Counsellors indicated that the burden of problem gambling is typically increased by the addition of stigma and its impacts. This stigma is created and maintained by a lack of public understanding about problem gambling and its causes, and internalization of self-stigmatizing beliefs, leading to delayed help-seeking, anxiety about attending treatment, concerns about counsellor attitudes, and fear of relapse. Counsellors maintained that, before effective gambling treatment could occur, they needed to help clients overcome their self-stigmatizing beliefs to establish confidence and trust in the counsellor, restore self-esteem, enhance stigma coping skills and foster a belief that recovery is possible. Harnessing support from significant others and preparing clients for relapse were also important inclusions to lower stigma. Addressing stigma early in treatment can help to improve treatment adherence and recovery.

Predicting online gambling self-exclusion: an analysis of the performance of supervised machine learning models

As gambling operators become increasingly sophisticated in their analysis of individual gambling behaviour, this study evaluates the potential for using machine learning techniques to identify individuals who used self-exclusion tools out of a sample of 845 online gamblers, based on analysing trends in their gambling behaviour. Being able to identify other gamblers whose behaviour is similar to those who decided to use self-exclusion tools could, for instance, be used to share responsible gaming messages or other information that aids self-aware gambling and reduces the risk of adverse outcomes. However, operators need to understand how accurate models can be and which techniques work well. The purpose of the article is to identify the most accurate technique out of four highly diverse techniques and to discuss how to deal analytically and practically with a rare event like self-exclusion, which was used by fewer than 1% of gamblers in our data-set. We conclude that balanced training data-sets are necessary for creating effective models and that, on our data-set, the most effective method is the random forest technique which achieves an accuracy improvement of 35 percentage points versus baseline estimates.