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

 

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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.

“Skins” in the Game: Counter-Strike, Esports, and the Shady World of Online Gambling (open access article)

Hardenstein, T. (2017). UNLV Gaming Law Journal: 7(2), article 5. Retrieved from http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/glj/vol7/iss2/5

Released in 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is the sequel to Counter-Strike, the most-played online PC action game of all time. 1 CS:GO casts players as two teams of five players with the goal to either eliminate the opposing team or disarm a bomb set by them. 2 The fast-paced first-persons hooter has rapidly grown in popularity among the online video game community. 3 Since Counter-Strike’s original release in 1999, two major movements have occurred: 1) the rise of Esports4 as a major industry; and 2) an explosion of interest in online gambling. With the release of CS:GO in 2012, these two phenomena converged, fostering a growing practice of wagering ingame
items on CS:GO matches through a number of third-party sites not affiliated with Esports leagues or game developers. 5 Scholars, industry experts, and legal theorists have just begun to explore the link between online gambling and video games.6 As of late, however, the practice of wagering in-game items—specifically the “weapon-skins” bought, sold, and traded in the CS:GO community—has received very little attention from the legal community. This article addresses the skins-betting phenomenon through the lens of online sports wagering. Part II of this article provides a brief overview of the Esports growth. Part III dives into CS:GO’s bustling “skins” trade, highlighting the avenues spectators can use to wager their skins on CS:GO matches. Part IV then pivots, exploring the ways in which wagering ingame items is synonymous with the traditional elements of gambling. Part V explores three major federal laws used to curb online gambling, most notably sports betting. Part VI assesses the applicability of these three federal gambling laws to in-game item betting. Finally, Part VII addresses a number of current and potential issues with skins betting, ultimately answering why the practice even deserves regulation in the first place. Access full article

Stability of problematic gaming and associations with problematic gambling: A three-year follow-up study of adolescents in the SALVe-cohort

S. Vadlin, C. Åslund, K.W. Nilsson.

Aim: The aims of the present study was to investigate the long-term stability of problematic gaming among adolescents, and whether problematic gaming at wave 1 (W1) were associated with problematic gambling at wave 2 (W2), three years later.
Methods: Data from the SALVe-Cohort, including adolescents in Västmanland born in 1997 and 1999, at two waves were analyzed (W1, n = 1868; 1035 girls, W2, n = 1576; 914 girls). Adolescents self-rated the Gaming Addiction Identification Test (GAIT), Problematic Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), and gambling frequencies. Stability of gaming using Gamma correlation, and Spearman’s rho was performed. General linear model analysis (GLM), and logistic regression analysis were performed, adjusted for sex, age, and ethnicity using PGSI as dependent variable, and GAIT as independent variable, for investigating associations between problematic gaming and problematic gambling.
Results: Problematic gaming was stable over time, γ = 0.810, P ≤ 0.001, and ρ = 0.555, P ≤ 0.001. Furthermore, problematic gaming at wave 1 increased the probability of having problematic gambling three years later, GLM F = 3.357, η2 = 0.255, P ≤ 0.001, and logistic regression OR = 5.078 (95% CI: 1.388–18.575), P = 0.014. Male sex was associated with higher probability of problematic gambling.
Conclusions: The present study highlights the importance of screening for problematic gambling among problematic gamers in order not to overlook possible coexisting gambling problems. The stability of problematic gaming indicates a need for development and evaluation of treatment for problematic gaming and also for coexisting gambling problems.

Vadlin, S., Åslund, C., & Nilsson, K. W. (2017). Stability of problematic gaming and associations with problematic gambling: A three-year follow-up study of adolescents in the SALVe-cohort. European Psychiatry, 41, S882. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.01.1782