Driving artificial intelligence use in responsible gambling practices [thesis paper]

Abstract: Gambling operators have incorporated specific responsible gambling (RG) measures as a unique approach to enhance their corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, staff accuracy in problem gambling identification, one important RG measure, remains low: venue staff can identify only 36% of patrons experiencing gambling problems. Artificial intelligence (AI)’s integration with responsible gambling (RG) practices has gained increasing attention in the gaming industry. The technological mechanisms set by AI can exploit the correlation and interaction between variables in a multivariate way, an utmost difficult task for humans, to identify risky patterns and determine which player attributes correlate with positive behavioral changes. The result helps to develop better RG strategies and safe play guidelines for players. However, AI technologies encountered a low degree of acceptance and adoption in the industry because of technical, ethical, regulatory issues regarding AI applications for gambling and the way of data collection from gamblers. The extensive literature review on both AI and RG aims to recommend best practices for the use of AI in a way in which the gaming industry can comply with responsible gambling guidelines, while also ensuring they adhere to local law and best practice in data privacy. The recommendations cover four aspects of AI implementation: data privacy, security and governance; ethical consideration in deployment and design; data quality; and, transparency,  interpretability, and accountability of AI systems. As there are almost no regulations designed for AI, this paper proposed the first set of solutions that can help gambling regulators, operators, and players better understand AI systems, thus using them more
effectively and responsibly. Link to the paper

Citation: Huang, Q. (2020). Driving artificial intelligence use in responsible gambling practices (paper submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Science in Hospitality Management, University of Nevada).

Getting involved in gambling as a way of escaping from violence: The meaning of gambling based on the experience of domestic violence in problematic gamblers [open access article]

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand the meaning of gambling addiction from the perspective of problematic gamblers through their life stories. Methods: A narrative approach was utilized for this study. The data were collected from June 1 to September 30, 2019, from a purposive sample of three participants by using in-depth interviews, observations, and note-taking. Results: The participants told their life stories from childhood, stressing the experiences of being abused physically and emotionally by their own families. Their life stories commonly revealed that they became involved in gambling to escape the influence of the violence they had suffered. Due to their childhood abuse experiences, they had various problems, including distorted values toward money, low self-esteem, ambivalent feelings, and a lack of interpersonal coping skills, which often contributed to their addiction problems. Conclusion: This study is meaningful in that it tried to understand the current addiction problem by focusing on the individual life experiences from the past to the present. Addiction recovery involves not only stopping the problematic behavior but also forming a new life meaning to lead a confident and independent future. Link to the article

Citation: Choi, S., Lee, M., & Park, S. (2020). Getting involved in gambling as a way of escaping from violence: The meaning of gambling based on the experience of domestic violence in problematic gamblers. Journal of Korean Academy of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 29(2), 119-132. https://doi.org/10.12934/jkpmhn.2020.29.2.119

An examination of clinician responses to problem gambling in community mental health services [open access article]

Abstract: Gambling problems commonly co-occur with other mental health problems. However, screening for problem gambling (PG) rarely takes place within mental health treatment settings. The aim of the current study was to examine the way in which mental health clinicians respond to PG issues. Participants (n = 281) were recruited from a range of mental health services in Victoria, Australia. The majority of clinicians reported that at least some of their caseload was affected by gambling problems. Clinicians displayed moderate levels of knowledge about the reciprocal impact of gambling problems and mental health but had limited knowledge of screening tools to detect PG. Whilst 77% reported that they screened for PG, only 16% did so “often” or “always” and few expressed confidence in their ability to treat PG. However, only 12.5% reported receiving previous training in PG, and those that had, reported higher levels of knowledge about gambling in the context of mental illness, more positive attitudes about responding to gambling issues, and more confidence in detecting/screening for PG. In conclusion, the findings highlight the need to upskill mental health clinicians so they can better identify and manage PG and point towards opportunities for enhanced integrated working with gambling services. Link to the article

Citation: Manning, V., Dowling, N.A., Rodda, S.N., Cheetham, A., & Lubman, D.I. (2020). An examination of clinician responses to problem gambling in community mental health services. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9 (2075). doi:10.3390/jcm9072075

Gambling in prisons – A nationwide Polish study of sentenced men [open access article]

Despite the abandonment of the criterion of committing illegal acts in the diagnosis of pathological gambling in fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), research confirms the significant link between crime, gambling, and gambling addiction.

In Poland, this connection is observed by psychologists working in the prison service, who simultaneously report the need for more structured interactions that would solve gambling problems among prisoners. The lack of any data on the involvement of persons committing crimes in gambling in Poland formed the basis for the implementation of a survey of gambling behaviour and gambling problems among male offenders in Polish correctional institutions.

A total of 1,219 sentenced men took part in the study. The research tool included 75 questions, including queries from the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS). Based on SOGS, the prevalence rate of severe problem gambling was 29.4% over the lifetimes of the prisoners. As many as 13.1% of respondents admitted to having gambled in prison. This activity usually involved cards, bets or dice. More than 74% of incarcerated men who gambled in prison met the criteria for pathological gambling. Prisoners who gambled more in prison than at liberty made up 27.7%.

As many as 69.3% of respondents declared that while in prison, they had met fellow convicts experiencing problems because of gambling. The study shows that criminals continue gambling after detention, especially those who are problem gamblers, an overall finding which implies the need to implement preventive and therapeutic interventions in correctional institutions. Link to the article

Citation: Lelonek-Kuleta, B. (2020). Gambling in prisons – A nationwide Polish study of sentenced men. Journal of Gambling Issues, 44. Retrieved from Google Scholar.

The emerging adults gambling survey: study protocol [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

The Emerging Adults Gambling Survey is a longitudinal survey of young adults aged 16-24 living in Great Britain. It aims to explore a range of gambling behaviours and harms among young adults and examine how this changes over time. It is part of a broader project funded by Wellcome into the gambling behaviours of young people and its relationship with technological change. Funding is currently available for two waves of data collection: the first collected in June/August 2019 (n=3549) and the second to be collected in June/August 2020. The second wave of data collection will also obtain information about the immediate impact of coronavirus on gambling behaviours. With a sample size of 3549 for Wave 1, this is one of the largest study of gambling behaviours among young adults to be conducted in Great Britain and is a resource for other researchers to draw on. Data will be deposited in the UK Data Archive upon completion of Wave 2 data collection and analysis. This protocol is intended to support other researchers to use this resource by setting out the study design and methods. Link to the article

Citation: How to cite this article: Wardle H. The Emerging Adults Gambling Survey: study protocol [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review] Wellcome Open Research 2020, 5:102 https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15969.1

Gamtest: Psychometric evaluation in a low-gambling general population [open access article]

Instruments that investigate different aspects of gambling activities are needed to distinguish negative consequences. Because gambling is a complex activity that occurs both offline and online, different questionnaires are necessary for screening
and risk classification. GamTest, an instrument used by several gambling companies, was designed to cover different aspects of gambling: money and time spent, as well as social, financial, and emotional consequences.

This study explores GamTest’s psychometric properties in a general population. A total of 2,234 Swedish respondents completed an online survey containing demographic questions, the questionnaire (GamTest), and the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). A confirmatory factor analysis was performed and GamTest’s reliability and validity tested. The confirmatory factor analysis yielded an inclusive fit. The internal consistency (omega) for the five factors was high (.79–.91), indicating good reliability, and a high positive correlation with the PGSI supported the validity of the GamTest.

The inclusive fit of the confirmatory factor analysis can be explained by the low endorsement of negative consequences of gambling in the sample. However, GamTest seems to have good reliability and validity. The utility of GamTest is discussed in relation to its psychometric properties and its use in the responsible gambling tool Playscan. Link to the article

Citation: Forsström, D., Philip Lindner, P., Jansson-Fröjmark, M., Hesser, H., & Carlbring, P. (2020). Gamtest: Psychometric evaluation in a low-gambling general population. Journal of Gambling Issues. Retrieved from scholar.google.co.nz/

The personality profile of chronic alcohol dependent patients with comorbid gambling disorder symptoms [open access article]

Background and aims: The importance of personality characteristics in the diagnostics and treatment of gambling disorder (GD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) is often highlighted in scientific literature. This study aimed to test predictions about the associations of temperament and character in chronic AUD patients with comorbid GD symptoms and without them.

Methods: Chronic AUD patients enrolled from an inpatient clinic were divided in two groups based on cluster analysis, AUD patients with (AUD+GD groups: N = 30) and without (AUD groups: N = 68) GD symptoms. Severity of GD symptoms and personality dimensions (Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory Revised, TCI-R) were assessed. Associations of tested variables were analysed with analysis of covariance, one-sample and independent sample t-tests.

Results: GD symptoms proved to be a clustering factor in terms of personality, where AUD+GD groups expressed a more maladaptive personality profile. Compared to Hungarian normative TCI-R scores, both patient groups showed elevated levels of Harm Avoidance and Novelty Seeking with lower scores of Self-directedness, while the AUD+GD group scored lower on Persistence and Cooperation as well. The AUD+GD group reported significantly higher levels of Harm Avoidance, with lower scores of Reward Dependence compared to the AUD group.

Discussion: Comorbid GD symptom severity is an important factor in chronic AUD, where AUD patients with comorbid GD symptoms exhibited more maladaptive personality constellation than singular AUD patients. These emphasize the need of special attention for comorbid GD symptoms in AUD, since treatment recommendations and prognosis for them may also differ. Link to the article

Citation: I. Kovács, I.K. Pribék, I. Demeter, et al., The personality profile of chronic alcohol dependent patients with comorbid gambling disorder symptoms, Comprehensive Psychiatry (2020), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2020.152183

A study on women’s casino security employees 여성 카지노 시큐리티 종사원에 관한 연구 [open access article in Korean]

In casinos, security personnel who manage the safety of customers and employees play a very important role. In particular, there is a high percentage of female employees in casinos, and because the ratio of female and male employees is similar, the probability of female customers or female employees experiencing accidents may be similar to or higher than that of males. Women’s security agents who handle women’s case accidents can provide female customers and employees with a security service that only women can do. However, most of the agents doing security work at casinos are male, and the proportion of women is very low. Therefore, this research is about employees who are currently working as women in casinos and conducted qualitative research to find out about various experiences they experienced while working in the casino.

A total of five study participants were interviewed three times to analyze and categorize the data collected. The first question is the professor’s recommendation, his personal information search and his acquaintance’s recommendation. The second question, the factors behind the necessary skills at work, are various athletic skills, good physical conditions and foreign language skills. In the third question, the satisfaction factors of the task are the scarcity value of the work, the satisfaction of the pay, the suitability of the individual and the expectation of the future, and the unsatisfactory factors of the work are the risk of the work, the stress on the customer, the discrimination against the sex, the gaze around, the tiredness of the shift work. In the fourth question, factors on the need for female casino security agents are providing differentiated services to female customers, protecting female employees and providing opportunities for women in related majors.

The results of this study were interviewed by an expert of more than 20 years in the casino security business, and female casino security agents said that since it is a necessary requirement, they should seek a direction for development through institutional and cognitive improvement. Link to the article

Citation: Kim, H. (2020). A study on women’s casino security employees. Korean Security Science Review, 62, 135–158. https://doi.org/10.36623/kssr.2020.62.6

Screening and assessment tools for gaming disorder: A comprehensive systematic review [open access article]

  • Numerous tools for gaming disorder (GD) have been developed in recent years.
  • We evaluated 32 GD tools and their evidence base from 320 empirical studies.
  • Several instruments had greater evidential support than others.
  • No single tool emerged as the clearly optimal choice.
  • A standard international tool would be invaluable to advance the GD field.

The inclusion of gaming disorder (GD) as an official diagnosis in the ICD-11 was a significant milestone for the field. However, the optimal measurement approaches for GD are currently unclear. This comprehensive systematic review aimed to identify and evaluate all available English-language GD tools and their corresponding evidence.

A search of PsychINFO, PsychArticles, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar identified 32 tools employed in 320 studies (N = 462,249 participants). The evaluation framework examined tools in relation to: (1) conceptual and practical considerations; (2) alignment with DSM-5 and ICD-11 criteria; (3) type and quantity of studies and samples; and (4) psychometric properties. The evaluation showed that GD instrumentation has proliferated, with 2.5 tools, on average, published annually since 2013. Coverage of DSM-5 and ICD-11 criteria was inconsistent, especially for the criterion of continued use despite harm. Tools converge on the importance of screening for impaired control over gaming and functional impairment.

Overall, no single tool was found to be clearly superior, but the AICA-Sgaming, GAS-7, IGDT-10, IGDS9-SF, and Lemmens IGD-9 scales had greater evidential support for their psychometric properties. The GD field would benefit from a standard international tool to identify gaming-related harms across the spectrum of maladaptive gaming behaviors. Link to the article

Citation: King, D.L., Chamberlain, S.R.,  Carragher, N., Billieux, J., Stein, D., Mueller, K., … Delfabbro, P.H. (2020). Screening and assessment tools for gaming disorder: A comprehensive systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 77(101831). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735820300192

Problem gambling and suicidality in England: secondary analysis of a representative cross-sectional survey [open access article]

  • A fifth of problem gamblers in England were suicidal in the past year.
  • Rates remained elevated after adjustment for other mental disorders.
  • The vulnerability of gamblers in the wider community has rarely been recognised.
  • This heightened vulnerability should be recognised in suicide prevention plans.

Objectives: Problem gamblers in treatment are known to be at high risk for suicidality, but few studies have examined if this is evident in community samples. Evidence is mixed on the extent to which an association between problem gambling and suicidality may be explained by psychiatric comorbidity. We tested whether they are associated after adjustment for co-occurring mental disorders and other factors.
Study design: Secondary analysis of the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007, a cross-sectional national probability sample survey of 7403 adults living in households in England.

Methods: Rates of suicidality in problem gamblers and the rest of the population were compared. A series of logistic regression models assessed the impact of adjustment on the relationship between problem gambling and suicidality.

Results: Past year suicidality was reported in 19.2% of problem gamblers, compared with 4.4% in the rest of the population. Their unadjusted odds ratios (OR) of suicidality were 5.3 times higher. Odds attenuated but remained significant when depression and anxiety disorders, substance dependences, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other factors were accounted for (adjusted OR = 2.9, 95% confidence interval = 1. 1, 8.1 P = 0.023).

Conclusions: Problem gamblers are a high-risk group for suicidality. This should be recognised in individual suicide prevention plans and local and national suicide prevention strategies. While some of this relationship is explained by other factors, a significant and substantial association between problem gambling and suicidality remains. Link to the article

Citation: Wardle H et al., Problem gambling and suicidality in England: secondary analysis of a representative cross-sectionalsurvey, Public Health, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2020.03.024