Exploring psychological need satisfaction from gambling participation and the moderating influence of game preferences [open-access article].

Abstract: Psychological needs are satisfied through leisure participation, which in turn influences subjective well-being. The present study explored the psychological needs reported to be satisfied through gambling participation and examined associations between need satisfaction, game preferences and subjective well-being. A heterogeneous, self-selected sample of 1446 participants was recruited, through the Internet gambling provider Kindred Group Plc, for an online questionnaire survey. Five psychological need dimensions of gambling were identified, using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses on calibration and validation samples, respectively: mastery, detachment, self-affirmation, risk and excitement, and affiliation. Challenge and mastery need satisfaction was higher for poker than for sports betting, horse racing, slots or casino table games; both self-affirmation and affiliation were also higher for poker than for sports betting and slots. By comparison, detachment was higher for slots than for sports gambling. While there were no significant variations in stress levels between the different forms of gambling, happiness ratings were lower for slots compared with sports betting and poker. This study provides insight into how distinctive patterns of play may satisfy different psychological needs and provides preliminary insights into how gambling patterns may prove adaptive or maladaptive as leisure choices. Article available online

Citation: Parke, J., Williams, R.J., & Schofield, P. (2019) Exploring psychological need satisfaction from gambling participation and the moderating influence of game preferences. International Gambling Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14459795.2019.1633381.

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Gambling Participation, Expenditure and Risk of Harm in Australia, 1997–1998 and 2010–2011

By Armstrong, A. R., Thomas, A., & Abbott, M.

Abstract: Gambling-related harm results primarily from financial losses. Internationally Australia continues to rank as the largest spending nation per capita on gambling products. This would suggest that Australian gamblers are at disproportionately high risk of harm despite almost two decades of industry scrutiny and regulation, and investment in research, treatment and education programs. However, declines in participation rates, per capita expenditure, household expenditure, national disposable income spent on gambling and problem gambling rates have been cited as evidence that fewer people are gambling, that gamblers are spending less, and that gambling safety in Australia has improved. The current study investigated these propositions using national population and accounts data, and statistics from Australia’s two population-representative gambling surveys conducted in 1997–1998 and 2010–2011. Despite a falling participation rate the study found no real change in the number of people gambling overall, and increasing numbers consuming casino table games, race wagering and sports betting. Further found were increases rather than decreases in average gambler expenditure, overall, and across most products, particularly electronic gaming machines (EGMs). Potentially risky levels of average expenditure were observed in both periods, overall and for race wagering, casino table gaming, and EGMs. Changes in the proportion of income spent on gambling suggest risks declined overall and for race wagering and casino table gaming, but increased for EGMs. Finally, while problem gambling statistics were not comparable between periods, the study found double the number of moderate risk gamblers previously estimated for 2010–2011 amongst the 2 million Australians found to have experienced one or more gambling-related problems. The findings have implications for public health policy and resourcing, and the way in which prevalence and expenditure statistics have been interpreted by researchers, government and industry in Australia and elsewhere.

Armstrong, A. R., Thomas, A., & Abbott, M. (2017). Gambling Participation, Expenditure and Risk of Harm in Australia, 1997–1998 and 2010–2011. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-017-9708-0