Gaming Law Review – special open access issue on esports

Gaming Law Review has released a special issue of their peer-reviewed journal focusing on esports and the regulatory issues surrounding the emerging industry. Click here to view the table of contents and access the articles.

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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

 

Negative Mood States or Dysfunctional Cognitions: Their Independent and Interactional Effects in Influencing Severity of Gambling Among Chinese Problem Gamblers in Hong Kong

By Wong, D. F. K., Zhuang, X. Y., Jackson, A., Dowling, N., & Lo, H. H. M.

Abstract: Gambling-related cognitions and negative psychological states have been proposed as major factors in the initiation and maintenance of problem gambling (PG). While there are a substantial number of studies supporting the role of cognitive dysfunctions in the initiation and maintenance of PG, very few empirical studies have explored the specific role of negative psychological states in influencing PG behaviours. In addition, very few studies have examined the interaction effects of cognitive dysfunctions and negative psychological states in exerting influence on PG behaviours. Therefore, the present study aims to examine the main and interaction effects of gambling-related cognitions and psychological states on the gambling severity among a group of problem gamblers in Hong Kong. A cross-sectional research design was adopted. A purposive sample of 177 problem gamblers who sought treatment from a social service organization in Hong Kong completed a battery of standardised questionnaires. While gambling-related cognitions were found to exert significant effects on gambling severity, negative psychological states (i.e. stress) significantly moderated the relationship between gambling cognitions and gambling severity. In essence, those participants who reported a higher level of stress had more stable and serious gambling problems than those who reported a lower level of stress irrespective of the level of gambling-related cognitions. The findings of the moderating role of negative emotions in the relationship between cognitive distortions and severity of gambling provide insight towards developing an integrated intervention model which includes both cognitive-behavioural and emotion regulation strategies in helping people with PG.

Wong, D. F. K., Zhuang, X. Y., Jackson, A., Dowling, N., & Lo, H. H. M. (2017). Negative Mood States or Dysfunctional Cognitions: Their Independent and Interactional Effects in Influencing Severity of Gambling Among Chinese Problem Gamblers in Hong Kong. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-017-9714-2

 

Why do young adults gamble online? A qualitative study of motivations to transition from social casino games to online gambling (full text)

By Kim, H. S., Wohl, M. J. A., Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J. L.

Abstract: The present research examined the mechanisms of initiating online gambling among young adults. Of particular interest was whether social casino gaming was noted as part of young adults’ experience with online gambling. This is because there is growing concern that social casino gaming may be a “gateway” to online gambling. Three focus groups (N = 21) were conducted with young adult online gamblers from two large Canadian Universities. Participants noted the role of peer influence as well as incentives (e.g., sign up bonuses) as important factors that motivated them to start engaging in online gambling. Participants also noted a link between social casino games and online gambling. Specifically, several young adults reported migrating to online gambling within a relatively short period after engaging with social casino games. Potential mechanisms that may lead to the migration from social casino games to online gambling included the role of advertisements and the inflated pay out rates on these free to play gambling like games. The results suggest initiatives to prevent the development of disordered gambling should understand the potential of social casino gaming to act as a gateway to online gambling, especially amongst this vulnerable population.

Kim, H. S., Wohl, M. J. A., Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J. L. (2017). Why do young adults gamble online? A qualitative study of motivations to transition from social casino games to online gambling. Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40405-017-0025-4

 

The impact of gambling on depression: New evidence from England and Scotland

By Awaworyi Churchill, S., & Farrell, L.

Abstract: Easy access to gambling outlets and the rise in the number of online gambling sites have led to a substantial increase in the prevalence of gambling among the British population. This increased prevalence is becoming a major problem due to the associated social and economic costs. This study investigates the effects of gambling on depression, using new data on England and Scotland, in a population-based sample. Using both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) scales of gambling addiction, we find evidence of a positive association between gambling behaviour and depression. Further, disaggregating the effects by gambling venue, our results suggest that online gambling poses a significant mental health risk compared to gambling in venues or outlets. Thus, we show that the high prevalence of gambling in Britain is associated with emotional and mental health costs.

Awaworyi Churchill, S., & Farrell, L. (2017). The impact of gambling on depression: New evidence from England and Scotland. Economic Modelling. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econmod.2017.08.021

 

Gambling involvement among Native Americans, Blacks, and Whites in the United States

By Barnes, G. M., Welte, J. W., & Tidwell, M.-C. O.

Abstract: Background and Objectives

This paper examines risk factors of gambling and problem gambling among racial subgroups in the U.S. population, namely Native Americans and blacks, for whom research data are lacking.

Methods

Findings are based on a large representative general population survey (n = 3,474) of gambling in the U.S. with an oversample of Native Americans (n = 549). Multiple domains were assessed including sociodemographic factors; ecological factors (census-defined neighborhood disadvantage, geocoded density of casinos within 30 miles of respondents’ homes, and perceived gambling convenience); impulsivity; and alcohol abuse.

Results

After controlling for all variables in the study, neighborhood disadvantage has a significantly greater effect on overall gambling, frequent gambling, and problem gambling for Native Americans than for the rest of the U.S. population. In addition, the relationship between frequent gambling and heavier drinking is much stronger for blacks than for the rest of the U.S. population.

Discussion and Conclusions

There is a lack of research on gambling involvement among minority groups in the U.S. Blacks and Native Americans are at a higher risk for problem gambling as compared with the rest of the population. Furthermore, social factors and alcohol abuse may show a stronger co-occurrence with gambling involvement among minority groups than among whites.

Scientific Significance

This study is a large representative U.S. sample with sizeable numbers of Native Americans and blacks. Thus, prevalence rates and risk factors can be assessed for these important population subgroups. This will allow for targeted intervention programs for Native Americans and blacks with problem gambling and alcohol abuse. (Am J Addict 2017;XX:1–9)

Barnes, G. M., Welte, J. W., & Tidwell, M.-C. O. (n.d.). Gambling involvement among Native Americans, Blacks, and Whites in the United States. The American Journal on Addictions, n/a-n/a. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajad.12601

 

The Unintended Normalization of Gambling: Family Identity Influences on the Adoption of Harmful Consumption Practices

By Westberg, K., Beverland, M. B., & Thomas, S. L. 

Although gambling has been legitimized as a form of leisure, this consumption activity can have individual and social costs. Policy approaches often focus on problem gambling as a discrete activity undertaken by an individual. Drawing on social practice theory and family identity research, we take an alternative approach, identifying how exposure to gambling can occur in emergent ways that can have an unintended but lasting effect. Based on 40 depth interviews, we identify how the pursuit of four family identity goals (membership and bonding, coming-of-age, emotional sustenance, and communing) plays a role in the normalization of gambling in childhood. We then explore how these goals and family gambling practices may contribute to gambling behaviour longer term. Finally, we examine the interplay between family identity goals at the meso-level, and wider macro-level socio-cultural institutions. Policy and social marketing initiatives that acknowledge the influence of identity-related gambling behaviour are recommended.