Prevalence, risk factors, and psychosocial adjustment of problematic gambling in adolescents: Results from two representative German samples [open access article]

Journal of Behavioral Addictions: DOI: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.37

Abstract: Background and aims
Gambling disorder is a significant public health concern. Especially, male minors have been shown to gamble in a problematic way, despite legal prohibitions.

We examined representative samples of students aged from 12 to 18 years (N = 9,309) in two German federal states to provide prevalence data and clinical description of risk factors for problematic gambling.

We found that about 40% of the adolescents reported engaging in gambling activities within the past 12 months and found prevalence rates of 1.7% and 2.2% for problematic gambling. Especially, use of online gambling and slot machines was found to be related to problematic gambling. Male adolescents with a migration background were of higher risk for problematic gambling and psychopathological symptoms were significantly elevated among that group.

The results indicate that participation in gambling activities is common among underaged adolescents and that prevalence of problematic gambling exceeds rates of adults. Similarly, problematic gambling is associated with increased psychopathological strain.

Given that a high proportion of adult gamblers report having started gambling in adolescents, our data emphasize the need for prevention and early intervention strategies for problematic gambling. Access full article


Prevalence of youth gambling and potential influence of substance use and other risk factors across 33 European countries: First results from the 2015 ESPAD study [subscription access article]

(2018) Prevalence of youth gambling and potential influence of substance use and other risk factors across 33 European countries: First results from the 2015 ESPAD study. Addiction, doi: 10.1111/add.14275. Full citation

Abstract: Although generally prohibited by national regulations, underage gambling has become popular in Europe, with relevant cross‐country prevalence variability. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of underage gambling in Europe stratified by type of game and on‐line/off‐line mode and to examine the association with individual and family characteristics and substance use. Read more

Do ‘environmental bads’ such as alcohol, fast food, tobacco, and gambling outlets cluster and co-locate in more deprived areas in Glasgow City, Scotland? [open access article]

Laura Macdonald, Jonathan R.Olsen, Niamh K. Shortt, Anne Ellaway (2018). Health & Place.

Abstract: This study utilised an innovative application of spatial cluster analysis to examine the socio-spatial patterning of outlets selling potentially health-damaging goods/services, such as alcohol, fast food, tobacco and gambling, within Glasgow City, Scotland. For all categories of outlets combined, numbers of clusters increased linearly from the least to the most income deprived areas (i.e. one cluster within the least deprived quintile to ten within the most deprived quintile). Co-location of individual types of outlets (alcohol, fast food, tobacco and gambling) within similar geographical areas was also evident. This type of research could influence interventions to tackle the co-occurrence of unhealthy behaviours and contribute to policies tackling higher numbers of ‘environmental bads’ within deprived areas. Continue reading

Lower severity gambling and associated social, health and economic correlates [open access thesis]

Odedeji Odeloye (2018). A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, University of Lethbridge in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Science, Faculty of Health Sciences.

Abstract: Gambling poses a public health threat due to the harmful effects on individuals,family, and the community at large. Although most of the consequences experienced by problem gamblers are well documented, less is known about the experiences of other group of gamblers such as low severity gamblers. The purpose of this study was to examine the social, health and economic correlates for lower severity gambling (low and moderate risk) and to identify their sociodemographic characteristics. Binary logistic regressions were used to analyse data from the cross-sectional study of 4303 participants in Tasmania. When compared with problem gamblers, low and moderate risk gamblers were more likely to have better quality of life. Furthermore, low risk gamblers were highly educated, older female immigrants, with higher annual income, and less likely to experience problems with drug use, chronic illnesses, finances and life event. These findings have implications for health education and harm minimization. Access thesis online

Compliance in gambling advertising across Europe, with a focus on the Romanian market [open access article]

Simion Cosmina and Dumitru Alina. Gaming Law Review (2018)

Abstract: Gambling advertising continues to be a contentious sector in various jurisdictions across Europe, especially at a time when technological advances have made gambling easier and more accessible to players (as Internet usage is nowhere near saturation point worldwide). In this context and in such a highly competitive market, where operators are developing more captivating, varied, and state‐of‐the‐art virtual gambling opportunities to seduce an ever‐growing market, there are voices which claim advertising is a possible stimulus to increased gambling and, therefore, a contributor to problem gambling. This is by no means new, as gambling advertising has always been a sensitive subject, taking into account the need to ensure prevention of gambling addiction and limit potential social implications that gambling could have on minors and other vulnerable people. Read full article

Prevalence of gambling-related harm provides evidence for the prevention paradox [open access article]

Matthew Browne and Matthew J. Rockloff, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University. Journal of Behavioral Addictions
DOI: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.41

The prevention paradox (PP) describes a situation in which a greater number of cases of a disease-state come from low-risk members of a population, because they are more prevalent than high-risk members. Past research has provided only tangential and disputed evidence to support the application of the PP to gambling-related harm.

The prevalence of gambling harms, including severe harms, was generally higher in the combined categories of lower risk categories compared to the high-risk problem-gambling category. There were some notable exceptions, however, for some severe and rare harms. Nevertheless, the majority of harms in the 72-item list, including serious harms such as needing temporary accommodation, emergency welfare assistance, experiencing separation or end of a relationship, loss of a job, needing to sell personal items, and experiencing domestic violence from gambling, were more commonly associated with lower risk gamblers. Read full article

From problem people to addictive products: a qualitative study on rethinking gambling policy from the perspective of lived experience [open access article]

Helen E. Miller, Samantha L. Thomas & Priscilla Robinson. (2018). From problem people to addictive products: a qualitative study on rethinking gambling policy from the perspective of lived experience. Harm Reduction Journal 15:16.

Previous research has shown that government and industry discussions of gambling may focus on personal responsibility for gambling harm. In Australia, these discussions have largely excluded people with lived experience of problem gambling, including those involved in peer support and advocacy.

We conducted 26 in-depth interviews with people with current or previous problem gambling on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) involved in peer support and advocacy activities, using an approach informed by Interpretive Policy Analysis and Constructivist Grounded Theory.

Participants perceived that government and industry discussed gambling as safe and entertaining with a focus on personal responsibility for problem gambling. This focus on personal responsibility was perceived to increase stigma associated with problem gambling. In contrast, they described gambling as risky, addictive and harmful, with problem gambling resulting from the design of EGMs. As a result of their different perspectives, participants proposed different interventions to reduce gambling harm, including reducing accessibility and making products safer.

Challenging the discourses used by governments and industry to describe gambling, using the lived experience of people with experience of gambling harm, may result in reduced stigma associated with problem gambling, and more effective public policy approaches to reducing harm. Read full article.