Exposure to gambling and alcohol marketing in soccer matchday programmes [article]

Abstract
Background: The UK’s Premier League and Championship are two of the most well attended soccer leagues worldwide; however, little is known regarding exposure to gambling marketing through the matchday experience. The current study sought to quantify exposure to gambling and alcohol marketing, and responsible gambling messages within matchday programmes.
Methods: Programmes for each team in the English Premier League and Championship were analysed across consecutive matchday weekends, made available to 1,269,404 match-going fans. Direct adverts for, and incidental exposure to, gambling, alcohol, and responsible gambling marketing or messages were coded. Direct adverts were counted, as were absolute counts and percentage of pages with incidental exposure.
Results: Programmes averaged 2.3 direct gambling adverts and 37.8 instances of incidental gambling marketing exposure. Incidental gambling marketing was found on 22.2% of pages. There was more gambling marketing than either alcohol marketing or responsible gambling messages. This was observed across: number of direct adverts (p <.001), incidents of exposure (p <.001) and the percentage of pages with exposure (p <.001). Teams with gambling shirt sponsors had more incidental marketing exposure, in both absolute count (p <.001) and percentage of pages (p <.001) but did not have more direct gambling adverts (p = .63). Incidental exposure to gambling marketing was present in 59.0% of children’s specific sections of programmes.
Conclusions. There was greater exposure to gambling marketing in soccer matchday programmes. Gambling marketing was frequently evident in child specific sections of matchday programmes. Attending soccer matches and reading the matchday programme increases exposure to gambling. Link to the article 

Citation: Sharman, S., Ferreira, C.A., & Newall, P.W.S. (2019). Exposure to gambling and alcohol marketing in soccer matchday programmes. Journal of Gambling Studies. In Press.

 

 

Loss-chasing in gambling behaviour: neurocognitive and behavioural economic perspectives [article]

Highlights

  • Chasing is a sensitive symptom of disordered gambling with multiple expressions.
  • Neurocognitive constructs of negative urgency and compulsivity may underlie chasing.
  • Behavioral economic constructs of loss-aversion and re-referencing may also contribute.

Loss-chasing describes the tendency of a gambler to amplify their betting in an effort to recoup prior losses. It is widely regarded as a defining feature of disordered gambling, and a hallmark of the transition from recreational to disordered gambling. We consider the empirical evidence for this central role of loss-chasing in disordered gambling. We highlight multiple behavioural expressions of chasing, including between-session and within-session chasing. From a neurocognitive perspective, loss-chasing could arise from compromised executive functions including inhibitory control, mood-related impulsivity (urgency) and compulsivity, for which there is compelling evidence in disordered gambling. This view is contrasted with a behavioural economic perspective that emphasizes the subjective valuation of outcomes to the gambler, and may better account for nuances in gamblers’ complex response to loss, such as the significance of ‘breaking even’. Neuroimaging and psychopharmacological research on loss-chasing may help to arbitrate between these two perspectives.
Link to the article

APA Citation: Zhang, K., Clark, L. (2020). Loss-chasing in gambling behaviour: neurocognitive and behavioural economic perspectives. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 31(February), 1-7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.10.006.

Isolating the impact of specific gambling activities and modes on problem gambling and psychological distress in internet gamblers [article]

Abstract
Background: Gambling disorder is related to high overall gambling engagement; however specific activities and modalities are thought to have stronger relationships with gambling problems. This study aimed to isolate the relationship between specific gambling activities and modalities (Internet and venue/land-based) to gambling disorder and general psychological distress. Past-month Internet gamblers were the focus of this investigation because this modality may be associated with gambling disorders in a unique way that needs to be separated from overall gambling intensity.

Methods: Australians who had gambled online in the prior 30 days (N = 998, 57% male) were recruited through a market research company to complete an online survey measuring self-reported gambling participation, problem gambling severity, and psychological distress.

Results: When controlling for overall gambling frequency, problem gambling was significantly positively associated with the frequency of online and venue-based gambling using electronic gaming machines (EGMs) and venue-based sports betting. Psychological distress was uniquely associated with higher frequency of venue gambling using EGMs, sports betting, and casino card/table games.

Conclusions: This study advances our understanding of how specific gambling activities are associated with disordered gambling and psychological distress in users of Internet gambling services. Our results suggest that among Internet gamblers, online and land-based EGMs are strongly associated with gambling disorder severity. High overall gambling engagement is an important predictor of gambling-related harms, nonetheless, venue-based EGMs, sports betting and casinos warrant specific attention to address gambling-related harms and psychological distress among gamblers.
Link to the article

Citation: Gainsbury, S.M., Angus, D.J. & Blaszczynski, A. (2019). Isolating the impact of specific gambling activities and modes on problem gambling and psychological distress in internet gamblers. BMC Public Health, 19(1372). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7738-5

Heterogeneity in disordered gambling: Decision-making and impulsivity in gamblers grouped by preferred form [open-access article].

Background: Previous research has indicated that disordered gamblers display deficits in impulsivity and risky decision-making, compared to healthy control groups. However, disordered gamblers are not a homogenous group, and differences in performance on neurocognitive tasks may be related to the form of gambling in which an individual chooses to engage. The present study used neurocognitive tasks and questionnaire measures to ascertain group differences in gamblers grouped by preferred form of gambling.

Method: Treatment-seeking pathological gamblers from the National Problem Gambling Clinic, London (n = 101), completed a neurocognitive assessment comprising the Cambridge gamble task (CGT), the stop-signal task (SST), a probabilistic reversal learning task (PRL), and the Kirby Monetary Choice Questionnaire, as well as questionnaire measures of gambling severity, impulsivity, depression, and anxiety. Analyses compared gamblers who favored fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) (the modal form) to gamblers who preferred other forms of gambling (non-FOBT).

Results: The FOBT group showed impaired decision-making under risk on the CGT compared to the non-FOBT group, choosing the likely option less on more uncertain decisions. The FOBT group made fewer perseverative errors on the PRL task, had lower depression and anxiety scores, and were less likely to have a family history of problem gambling than the non-FOBT group.

Discussion: Decision-making and cognitive flexibility differences between gamblers grouped by gambling type supports preferred form as an important source of heterogeneity in gambling disorder. Decision-making strategies and risk attitudes should be considered when approaching cognition-focused treatment strategies, allowing interventions to be targeted at specific cognitive deficits. Link to the article

Citation: Sharman, S., Clark, L., Roberts, A., Michalczuk, R., Cocks, R., & Bowden-Jones, H. (2019). Heterogeneity in disordered gambling: Decision-making and impulsivity in gamblers grouped by preferred form. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10(588). DOI: doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00588

Anonymous women? A scoping review of the experiences of women in gamblers anonymous (GA) [open-access article].

Abstract: Women are participating in gambling at levels approaching those of men, and although levels of disordered gambling remain lower in women than in men, significant numbers are affected. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a mainstay of help to problem gamblers in many countries. A scoping review was conducted which specifically addressed the experiences of women who attend GA. Within the 25 identified relevant studies, only two reported empirical data on the specific numbers of women attending. A range of barriers still remain to the participation of women in these communities. These include ‘external’ barriers such as lack of referral and signposting, lack of accessible meetings, and costs of travel; ‘internal’ barriers such as shame, stigma, and fear of disclosure; and features of the GA meetings and discourse, such as a climate which is dismissive of women’s experiences. Article available online

Reference: Rogers, J., Landon, J., Sharman, S., & Roberts, A. (2019). Anonymous women? A scoping review of the experiences of women in gamblers anonymous (GA). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00101-5

Optimal public policy for government-operated gambling [open-access article].

Abstract: This paper presents a framework for formulating the optimal public policy for government-operated gambling. The goal of public policy with respect to government-operated gambling is typically stated as ‘‘harm minimization.’’ This claim masks the possible trade-off between an increase in social harm (H) and the government’s incremental net revenue (R) from increased gambling activity. Using a graphical approach, we depict first the feasible combinations of H and R, and then identify the combinations that could be classified as efficient, thereby allowing the minimum social harm for any given level of the government’s incremental net revenue from gambling. We indicate how the optimal combination of H and R could be identified and realized in both the short and long run. We then utilize the body of research on gambling and its effects to qualify what this trade-off operates in the real world. Article available online

Reference: Lipnowski, I., & McWhirter, A. (2018). Optimal public policy for government-operated gambling. Journal of Gambling Issues, 40(December). Retrieved from https://jgi.camh.net/index.php/jgi/article/view/4033/4367

Optimal public policy for government-operated gambling [open access policy paper]

Abstract: This paper presents a framework for formulating the optimal public policy for government-operated gambling. The goal of public policy with respect to government-operated gambling is typically stated as ‘‘harm minimization.’’ This claim masks the possible trade-off between an increase in social harm (H) and the government’s incremental net revenue (R) from increased gambling activity. Using a graphical approach, we depict first the feasible combinations of H and R, and then identify the combinations that could be classified as efficient, thereby allowing the minimum social harm for any given level of the government’s incremental net revenue from gambling. We indicate how the optimal combination of H and R could be identified and realized in both the short and long run. We then utilize the body of research on gambling and its effects to qualify what this trade-off operates
in the real world. Access policy paper

Citation: Irwin Lipnowski & Austin McWhirter. (2018). Journal of Gambling Issues, 40.