The gambling establishment: Challenging the power of the modern gambling industry and its allies / by Jim Orford. [pre-publication book announcement].

Description: There are now signs that, after decades of phenomenal growth, the era of unrestrained gambling liberalisation may be coming to an end. However, the power of The Gambling Establishment is formidable and it will certainly fight back. Drawing on research and policy examples from around the world, the book provides a unified understanding of the dangerousness of modern commercialised gambling, how its expansion has been deliberately or inadvertently supported, and how the backlash is now occurring.
The term Gambling Establishment is defined to include the industry which sells gambling, governments which support it, and a wider network of organisations and individuals who have subscribed to the ‘responsible gambling’ Establishment discourse. Topics covered include: the psychology of how gambling is now being advertised and promoted and the way it is designed to deceive gamblers about their chances of winning; the increased exposure of young people to gambling and the alignment of gambling with sport; understanding the experience of gambling addiction; the various public health harms of gambling at individual, family, community and societal levels; and how evidence has been used to resist change. The book’s final chapter offers the author’s manifesto for policy change, designed with Britain particularly in mind but likely to have relevance elsewhere.
With detailed examples given of the ways a number of countries are responding to these threats to their citizens’ health, this book will be of global interest for academics, researchers, policymakers and service providers in the field of gambling or other addictions specifically, and public health and social policy generally. Book details

Contents: Introduction 01. The new backlash against the growth of commercial gambling 02. The Gambling Establishment: the industry and its allies inside and outside government 03. The Establishment discourse: five ways we were told how to think about gambling 04. How Gambling is forcibly advertised and sold in the modern era 05. Is modern gambling fraudulent? How players are deceived about the chances of winning 06. Understanding gambling addiction: bringing personal experience and theory together 07. Gambling’s harm to individuals, families, communities and society 08. How the Gambling Establishment has used evidence to support Its position 09. Resisting the power of the Gambling Establishment: A Manifesto for Change.

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Gambling on smartphones: A study of a potentially addictive behaviour in a naturalistic setting [open-access article]

Abstract: Smartphone users engage extensively with their devices, on an intermittent basis for short periods of time. These patterns of behaviour have the potential to make mobile gambling especially perseverative. This paper reports the first empirical study of mobile gambling in which a simulated gambling app was used to measure gambling behaviour in phases of acquisition and extinction. We found that participants showed considerable perseverance in the face of continued losses that were linearly related to their prior engagement with the app. Latencies between gambles were associated with the magnitude of reinforcement; more positive outcomes were associated with longer breaks between play and a greater propensity to end a gambling session. Greater latencies were associated with measurements of problem gambling, and perseverance with gambling-related cognitions and sensation-seeking behaviour.
Article available online

Reference: James R.J.E., O’Malley, C., & Tunney R.J. (2019). Gambling on smartphones: A study of a potentially addictive behaviour in a naturalistic setting. European Addiction Research, 25,30-40. doi: 10.1159/000495663

Exploring the relationship between individual gambling behaviour and accessibility to gambling venues in New Zealand – online open-access thesis

Abstract: Gambling is an important recreational activity in New Zealand, with high levels of participation by the general public. Although gambling activities are an important source of employment and a means of raising funds for various community and sporting purposes, gambling on electronic gambling machines (EGMs), both in casino and non-casino venues are known to be correlated with gambling-related harm, resulting in higher levels of personal, familial, health and societal problems.
After undertaking a review of relevant literature on participation in gambling activities and accessibility to gambling venues, it was found that although studies examining the accessibility of venues with EGMs have been researched to some extent in an overseas context, studies pertaining to such venues in New Zealand have been limited. This study therefore aimed to investigate the link between accessibility to gambling venues with EGMs, including distance-wise proximity to such venues and the number of these venues within a certain distance, and their impact on gambling behaviour of individuals.
Thesis available online via AUT Library

Reference: Bonamis, A.E. (2019). Exploring the relationship between individual gambling behaviour and accessibility to gambling venues in New Zealand (Doctoral dissertation, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand). Retrieved from https://openrepository.aut.ac.nz/handle/10292/12380

Predictors of gambling and problem gambling in Victoria, Australia [open access policy paper]

Abstract: In 2016, the gambling habits of a sample of 3361 adults in the state of Victoria, Australia, were surveyed. It was found that a number of factors that were highly correlated with self-reported gambling frequency and gambling problems were not significant predictors of gambling frequency and problem gambling. The major predictors of gambling frequency were the degree to which family members and peers were perceived to gamble, self-reported approval of gambling, the frequency of discussing gambling offline, and the participant’s Canadian Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) score. Age was a significant predictor of gambling frequency for certain types of gambling (e.g. buying lottery tickets). Approximately 91% of the explainable variance in the participant’s PGSI score could be explained by just five predictors: Positive Urgency; Frequency of playing poker machines at pubs, hotels or sporting clubs; Participation in online discussions of betting on gaming tables at casinos; Frequency of gambling on the internet, and Overestimating the chances of winning. Based on these findings, suggestions are made as to how gambling-related harm can be reduced. Access article online

Reference: Howe, P.D.L., Vargas-Sáenz, A., Hulbert, C.A., Boldero, J.M. (2019). Predictors of gambling and problem gambling in Victoria, Australia, PLoS ONE 14(1), e0209277. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209277

Applying Corporate Political Activity (CPA) analysis to Australian gambling industry submissions against regulation of television sports betting advertising [open access article]

Hancock L., Ralph N., & Martino F. P. (2018). PLoS ONE 13(10). doi. https:// doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205654

Background: A growing body of literature has confirmed how public interest outcomes are frequently opposed by vested interests. This research focused on gambling industry submissions to a 2013 Australian Parliamentary inquiry into sports betting advertising. Gambling advertising became highly controversial following deregulation of sports betting advertising in Australia subsequent to the 2008 Australian High Court Betfair challenge. The dramatic increase in gambling advertising during sporting event broadcasts at children’s viewing times and on new interactive technology, sparked public concerns. A series of national regulatory reviews followed and the gambling industry was actively involved in opposing further regulation. Access full article

Gender by Preferred Gambling Activity in Treatment Seeking Problem Gamblers: A Comparison of Subgroup Characteristics and Treatment Outcomes

Problem gambling is a growing public health concern and treatment incompletion levels remain high. The study aims to support and extend previous studies in relation to the heterogeneity of the gambling population based on gender and gambling type, and the implications of subgroup differences on treatment outcomes. Additionally, the concept of drop-out is addressed in terms of categorical treatment measures. The empirical findings are examined in the context of the theoretical framework of the pathways model. Participants were recruited from the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service and stratified into subgroups based on gender and gambling mode preference [Electronic Gambling Machines (EGM) or track race betters]. Baseline predictors collected and analysed using multinomial logistical regression included demographic information as well as gambling variables, while treatment outcomes consisted of three therapist rated measures. Significant differences between the subgroups were found for age, marital and employment status, gambling duration, alcohol use and the Kessler 10 measure of psychological distress. Specifically, male track race gamblers were younger, married, employed, had a longer duration of gambling, higher alcohol use and lower psychological distress relative to EGM users. No difference was found in any of the treatment outcomes, however, consistent with previous studies, all subgroups had high treatment incompletion levels. The findings demonstrate the importance of screening, assessing and treating problem gamblers as a heterogeneous group with different underlying demographics and psychopathologies. It is also hoped future studies will continue to address treatment incompletion with a re-conceptualisation of the term drop-out.

The Challenge of Online Gambling: The Effect of Legalization on the Increase in Online Gambling Addiction – Online First – Springer

Mariano Chóliz

It is possible that the growth and promotion of online gambling will result in substantially increased use of these types of games in countries where they are legal. This may be especially true for young people due to their interest in such games. In this context, it is important to note that online gambling is more addictive than any other type of game due its structural characteristics, such as immediacy, accessibility, ease of betting, and so on. This study examined the effect of online gambling in Spain 2 years after its legalization…

via The Challenge of Online Gambling: The Effect of Legalization on the Increase in Online Gambling Addiction – Online First – Springer.