The effects of alcohol expectancy and intake on slot machine gambling behavior (open access)

By Dominic Sagoe, Rune Aune Mentzoni, Tony Leino, Helge Molde, Sondre Haga, Mikjel Fredericson Gjernes, Daniel Hanss, and Ståle Pallesen.

Background and aims: Although alcohol intake and gambling often co-occur in related venues, there is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of alcohol expectancy and intake on gambling behavior. We therefore conducted an experimental investigation of the effects of alcohol expectancy and intake on slot machine gambling behavior.
Methods: Participants were 184 (females = 94) individuals [age range: 18–40 (mean = 21.9) years] randomized to four independent conditions differing in information/expectancy about beverage (told they received either alcohol or placebo) and beverage intake [actually ingesting low (target blood alcohol concentration [BAC] < 0.40 mg/L) vs. moderate (target BAC > 0.40 mg/L; ≈0.80 mg/L) amounts of alcohol]. All participants completed self-report questionnaires assessing demographic variables, subjective intoxication, alcohol effects (stimulant and sedative), and gambling factors (behavior and problems, evaluation, and beliefs). Participants also gambled on a simulated slot machine.
Results: A significant main effect of beverage intake on subjective intoxication and alcohol effects was detected as expected. No significant main or interaction effects were detected for number of gambling sessions, bet size and variation, remaining credits at termination, reaction time, and game evaluation.
Conclusion: Alcohol expectancy and intake do not affect gambling persistence, dissipation of funds, reaction time, or gambling enjoyment.


“I can sit on the beach and punt through my mobile phone”: The influence of physical and online environments on the gambling risk behaviours of young men

Deans, E. G., Thomas, S. L., Daube, M., & Derevensky, J.

Gambling is rapidly emerging as an important public health issue, with gambling products causing considerable health and social harms to individuals, families and communities. Whilst researchers have raised concerns about online wagering environments, few studies have sought to explore how factors within different gambling environments (both online and land-based) may be influencing the wagering, and more broadly the gambling risk behaviours of young men. Using semi-structured interviews with 50 Australian men (20–37 years) who gambled on sport, we explored the ways in which online and land-based environments may be risk-promoting settings for gambling. This included the appeal factors associated with gambling in these environments, factors that encouraged individuals to gamble, and factors that encouraged individuals to engage in different, and more harmful types of gambling. Interviews were conducted over the course of a year (April 2015 to April 2016). We identified a number of situational and structural factors that promoted risky gambling environments for young men. In the online environment, gambling products had become exceedingly easy to access through mobile technologies, with young men subscribing to multiple accounts to access industry promotions. The intangibility of money within online environments impacted upon risk perceptions. In land-based environments, the social rituals associated with peer group behaviour and sport influenced risky patterns of gambling. The presence of both gambling and alcohol in pub environments led individuals to gamble more than they normally would, and on products that they would not normally gamble on. Land-based venues also facilitated access to multiple forms of gambling under the one roof. We identified a number of factors in both land and online environments that when combined, created risk-promoting settings for gambling among young men. By exploring these contextual conditions that give rise to gambling harm, we are better able to advocate for effective public health responses in creating environments that prevent harmful gambling.

Deans, E. G., Thomas, S. L., Daube, M., & Derevensky, J. (2016). ‘I can sit on the beach and punt through my mobile phone’: The influence of physical and online environments on the gambling risk behaviours of young men. Social Science & Medicine.

Impact of alcohol consumption on clinical aspects of gambling disorder

Similarities between gambling disorder and substance use disorders have been extensively described. To date, however, few studies using large clinical samples have been carried out that reliably assess the relationship between different levels of alcohol consumption and gambling disorders. The present study aimed to assess the impact of baseline alcohol consumption levels on the clinical profile in a large sample of treatment-seeking individuals. Nine hundred and fifty-one consecutive outpatients diagnosed with gambling disorder according to DSM-IV criteria were compared after being included in three alcohol consumption groups (low risk, abuse and risk of dependence) based on their total raw scores on the AUDIT questionnaire. Results showed a high prevalence of risk of alcohol dependence in GD patients who were immigrants, unemployed, and had a low level of education. A positive linear trend was also found between alcohol consumption level and the prevalence of other current and life-time comorbid mental disorders, and for the presence of drug abuse. Statistically significant differences were found between the three alcohol consumption groups in terms of the evolution and severity of the gambling disorder, self-directedness personality trait, and levels of general psychopathology, hostility and paranoid ideation. In conclusion, the results showed an association between increased alcohol consumption and greater dysfunction.

Gambling advocacy: lessons from tobacco, alcohol and junk food


Objective: To explore the attitudes and opinions of public health experts in gambling and related unhealthy commodity industries towards the tactics used by the gambling industry to prevent reform and the advocacy responses to these tactics. Methods: In-depth interviews (30–60 minutes) with a convenience sample of 15 public health experts and stakeholders with a public health approach to gambling (n=10), or other unhealthy commodity industries (food, alcohol, tobacco, n=5)…

Thomas, S. L., David, J., Randle, M., Daube, M., & Senior, K. (2015). Gambling advocacy: lessons from tobacco, alcohol and junk food. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, n/a–n/a.

The Relationship Between Alcohol and Gambling Behaviours

This multi-disciplinary literature review explores the literature on gambling and alcohol behaviours in the UK including Wales and internationally. In the light of concerns expressed about significant health problems associated with problem gambling and alcohol addiction the review considers the topic from a sociological and cultural perspective as well as from a clinical and treatment focus. Gambling and alcohol research and literature is also reviewed from the perspective of gambling operators and their corporate social responsibility and responsible gambling practices. The review finally proposes recommendation for further research in this field…

Link to PDF: Bohane, G., Guerrier, Y., Sakhuja, R., & Vamvakari, T. (2015). The Relationship Between Alcohol and Gambling Behaviours (Literature Review). University of Roehampton Business School: London.