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

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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

Problem gambling and gaming in elite athletes [open access article]

Håkansson, A., Kenttä, G. & Åkesdotter, C. (2018). Abrep. doi:10.1016/j.abrep.2018.08.003

Abstract
Background: High-level sports have been described as a risk situation for mental health problems and substance misuse. This, however, has been sparsely studied for problem gambling, and it is unknown whether problem gaming, corresponding to the tentative diagnosis of internet gaming disorder, may be overrepresented in athletes. This study aimed to study the prevalence and correlates of problem gambling and problem gaming in national team-level athletes.

Methods: A web-survey addressing national team-level athletes in university studies (survey participation 60%) was answered by 352 individuals (60% women, mean age 23.7), assessing mental health problems, including lifetime history of problem gambling (NODS-CLiP) and problem gaming (GASA).

Results: Lifetime prevalence of problem gambling was 7% (14% in males, 1% in females, p < 0.001), with no difference between team sports and other sports. Lifetime prevalence of problem gaming was 2% (4% in males and 1% in females, p = 0.06). Problem gambling and problem gaming were significantly associated (p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Moderately elevated rates of problem gambling were demonstrated, however with large gender differences, and interestingly, with comparable prevalence in team sports and in other sports. Problem gaming did not seem more common than in the general population, but an association between problem gambling and problem gaming was demonstrated. Access full article