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.


Anonymous women? A scoping review of the experiences of women in gamblers anonymous (GA) [open-access article].

Abstract: Women are participating in gambling at levels approaching those of men, and although levels of disordered gambling remain lower in women than in men, significant numbers are affected. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a mainstay of help to problem gamblers in many countries. A scoping review was conducted which specifically addressed the experiences of women who attend GA. Within the 25 identified relevant studies, only two reported empirical data on the specific numbers of women attending. A range of barriers still remain to the participation of women in these communities. These include ‘external’ barriers such as lack of referral and signposting, lack of accessible meetings, and costs of travel; ‘internal’ barriers such as shame, stigma, and fear of disclosure; and features of the GA meetings and discourse, such as a climate which is dismissive of women’s experiences. Article available online

Reference: Rogers, J., Landon, J., Sharman, S., & Roberts, A. (2019). Anonymous women? A scoping review of the experiences of women in gamblers anonymous (GA). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Measurement and conceptualization of gaming disorder according to the World Health Organization framework: the development of the Gaming Disorder Test [open-access article].

Abstract: Previous research on gaming disorder (GD) has highlighted key methodological and conceptual hindrances stemming from the heterogeneity of nomenclature and the use of nonstandardized psychometric tools to assess this phenomenon. The recent recognition of GD as an official mental health disorder and behavioral addiction by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) opens up new possibilities to investigate further the psychosocial and mental health implications due to excessive and disordered gaming. However, before further research on GD can be conducted in a reliable way and within a robust cross-cultural context, a valid and reliable standardized psychometric tool to assess the construct as defined by the WHO should be developed. The aim of this study was to develop The Gaming Disorder Test (GDT), a brief four-item measure to assess GD and to further explore its psychometric properties. A sample of 236 Chinese (47% male, mean age 19.22 years, SD = 1.57) and 324 British (49.4% male, mean age 26.74 years, SD = 7.88) gamers was recruited online. Construct validity of the DT was examined via factorial validity, nomological validity, alongside convergent and discriminant validity. Concurrent validity was also examined using the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale—Short-Form (IGDS9-SF). Finally, reliability indicators involving the Cronbach’s alpha and composite reliability coefficients were estimated. Overall, the results indicated that GDT is best conceptualized within a single-factor structure. Additionally, the four items of the GDT are valid, reliable, and proved to be highly suitable for measuring GD within a cross-cultural context. Article available online

Reference: Pontes, H.M., Schivinski, B., Sindermann, C., Mei Li, Becker, B., Min Zhou, Montag, C. (2019). Measurement and conceptualization of gaming disorder according to the World Health Organization framework: the development of the Gaming Disorder Test. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Gambling in emerging adulthood: The role of adolescent depressive symptoms, antisocial behaviors, and alcohol use [subscription-access article]

Abstract: Emerging adults (ages 18–29) display higher prevalence of gambling participation and problem gambling as well as co-occurrence with other risk behaviors compared to other age groups. Consequences of these co-occurring conditions may lead to psychological symptoms, behavioral problems, and socioeconomic and medical costs. Depressive symptoms, antisocial behaviors, and alcohol use are known risk factors for gambling participation and problem gambling. However, scarce research has examined the co-occurrence of those adolescent risk factors and later gambling behaviors in emerging adulthood longitudinally. Using multiple waves of National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) data, we examined the relationship between earlier depressive symptoms, antisocial behaviors, alcohol use, and gambling behaviors at wave III, and later gambling participation and problem gambling (wave IV) in emerging adults ages 18–29, using multinomial logistic regression. Our findings suggest that earlier antisocial behaviors and gambling behaviors increased later risk for gambling participation and problem gambling. Past-year alcohol use and heavy drinking were associated with the increased risk of gambling participation but not problem gambling. Earlier depressive symptoms decreased the risk of gambling participation later among those who endorsed antisocial behaviors. Emerging adulthood may be a critical developmental period in the development of comorbid conditions of gambling and other risk behaviors. The results contribute evidence supporting the importance of early prevention and intervention for the co-occurrence of gambling and other risk behaviors in emerging adulthood. Article details and access conditions

Reference: Jun, HJ., Sacco, P. & Cunningham-Williams, R.M. (2019). Gambling in emerging adulthood: The role of adolescent depressive symptoms, antisocial behaviors, and alcohol use. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

How to support prison workers’ perceived readiness to identify and respond to possible gambling problems: A pilot study from two Finnish prisons [open-access article]

Problem gambling is known to be prevalent among prisoners. However, it is not systematically screened and often remains undetected. This pilot study explores prison workers’ (N = 21) knowledge, views, and opinions about problem gambling in two Finnish prisons with a view to improving training and to developing better guidelines for identifying and responding to gambling problems. Four-fifths (81%) of prison workers considered problem gambling a serious issue in Finland. During the past year, more than nine in ten (94.1%) had encountered a prisoner with a gambling problem. Problem gambling was identified in connection with discussions about prisoners’ illegal activity (50%), financial situation (25%), or other problems (25%). Nearly half of the participants felt they did not have adequate training or information about problem gambling and related issues and expressed an interest in continuing education. This pilot study provides important direction for the development of tailored training programs for prison workers. The next step is to increase awareness of gambling programs in a wider national context and to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of training programs. Article available online

Reference: Castrén, S., Lind, K., Järvinen-Tassopoulos, J. et al. (2019). How to support prison workers’ perceived readiness to identify and respond to possible gambling problems: A pilot study from two Finnish prisons. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Information technology usage as a moderator between disordered gambling, internet gaming addiction, and illusory control [subscription access article]

Abstract: This study tested the hypothesis as to whether the mode and time of information technology use—such as using various electronic and computing devices for gambling and collecting information related to gambling—can positively predict disordered gambling, with the effects of Internet gaming addiction and illusory control being taken into account.

A questionnaire set was administered to 677 Hong Kong secondary school students to assess their maladaptive gambling behavior, Internet gaming addiction, illusory control, and the habit of information technology use, such as the amount of time spent on watching television, browsing the Internet, and playing online gambling and non-gambling games. The results suggest that utilizing computing and electronic devices for gambling-related activities is positively indicative of disordered gambling, making use of information technology for work or study being a buffering factor.

Utilizing information technology for non-gambling activities—such as the durations of playing non-gambling games and making non-gambling purchases online—is not related to disordered gambling, albeit their positive correlations with Internet gaming addiction. Likewise, Internet gaming addiction has no association with using information technology devices for any gambling-related activities, except its very small correlation with playing online gambling games.

In addition, tablet computers may provide a convenient means for gambling activities and tend to be used by problem gamblers. It is recommended that intervention strategies targeted at secondary school students should address not only the amount of use but also the way they use information technology devices. Article details and access conditions

Yu, Calvin Kai-Ching & Fu, Wai. (2018). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

An analysis of consumer protection for gamblers across different online gambling operators in Ireland: A descriptive study [open access article]

Cooney, C., Columb, D., Costa, J. et al. (2018). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. doi:

Abstract: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the responsible gambling tools which are available to online gamblers at Irish online gambling websites. The present study used a similar methodology to a recent study carried out on the world’s most popular websites (Bonello and Griffiths Gaming Law Review and Economics, 21, 278–285, 2017), where 50 of the most advertised online gambling websites were evaluated in relation to their responsible gambling (RG) practices. The present study evaluated 39 gambling websites with either a “.ie” or “.com/ie” domain. Each website was evaluated by checking for a number of RG practices, including presence of a dedicated RG page; age verification; access to gambling account history; the availability of RG tools, such as limit setting facilities and exclusion settings; and links to limit-setting options on the deposit page. Descriptive statistics were then performed on the results from each website. Of the 39 online gambling operators identified, 22 redirected gamblers to a “.com” domain, while 17 operators remained as a “.ie” domain. Thirty-five websites (89.7%) visited had a dedicated RG page. Responsible gambling features were evaluated and demonstrated to be available in an inconsistent manner across online gambling websites. Irish websites were shown to perform poorly in comparison with non-Irish counterparts in the provision of RG tools. The researchers of the present study are not aware of any similar studies conducted to date in Ireland. Access full article