Gambling in two Victorian regional Australian Aboriginal communities [open access presentation]

MacLean, S., Thomas, D., Atkinson, A., Griffin, T., Vaughan, R., Stephens, R., … Whiteside, M. (2018, August). Paper presented at the meeting of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Geelong, Australia.

  • Background: In 2017/8 MDAS [Mallee District Aboriginal Services] and GEGAC [Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal CoOperative] commissioned La Trobe to collaborate on two separate studies of gambling and how communities could respond. Together we wrote two reports, one with GEGAC investigating issues for young people and one with MDAS focused on all age groups.
  • In collaboration with MDAS staff we wrote an article on bingo that drew on the MDAS findings (Maltzahn et al, 2018)
  • Today we report on findings across both studies. View presentation online

Pacific Islands Families Study 2014: Mother and youth gambling report [open access report prepared for the Ministry of Heath]

Bellringer et al. (2016). Pacific Islands Families Study 2014: Mother and youth gambling. Auckland: Auckland University of Technology, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre. Copyright information

The research is part of the longitudinal Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study conducted by AUT, which is following a cohort of Pacific children born in 2000, and their parents.

The longitudinal nature of the study has provided useful insights into changes in gambling behaviours and risk factors over time, as well as the social, family and environmental factors associated with gambling.

In addition to investigating the extent of gambling and problem gambling, the study assessed risk factors for gambling participation and expenditure. In the case of Pacific youth, being bullied at school was identified as a risk factor, as was gang involvement, playing computer/video games, watching television/video/DVDs and having a mother who gambled.

Risk factors for gambling participation among mothers studied included alcohol consumption, being a victim or perpetrator of verbal abuse, aggression and increased deprivation levels. Meanwhile, retaining a high level of alignment with Pacific culture, alongside a low level of alignment with New Zealand culture, was associated with risky gambling behaviour. Access full report from the Ministry of Health website

Watch your loot boxes! – Recent developments and legal assessment in selected key jurisdictions from a gambling law perspective [open access article]

Schwiddessen, S. & Karius, P. (2018). Interactive Entertainment Law Review, 1(1), 17–43. doi: 10.4337/ielr.2018.01.02

So called loot boxes are one of the most important monetization methods for many companies in the video gaming, social gaming and social casino gaming industry. After the global skin betting scandal in 2016 and the 2017 loot-box uproar, loot boxes are now under investigation or even subject to legislative measures in several jurisdictions. Since then, numerous regulatory authorities, politicians and other stake holders have issued statements on the matter. From a legal perspective, loot boxes can touch gambling, youth protection, consumer and even financial laws. Characteristic of the 2017 loot-box debate was a black or white view and people taking extreme positions. In particular, gamers and people not familiar with the subject tend to condemn loot boxes as gambling. However, taking a closer look at selected key jurisdictions shows that the application of gambling laws depends on the jurisdiction and on the exact set up of the loot box mechanism. Furthermore, some questions are not conclusively solved yet – not even in those jurisdictions which are regarded as loot-box safe havens. One of these questions is, for instance, the impact of secondary-market trading of loot-box-generated items. This article evaluates the legal situation of loot boxes from a gambling law perspective in selected jurisdictions. Full article

Impacts of gambling on young Aboriginal people in Gippsland and East Gippsland: an exploratory study (online report)

Kathleen Maltzahn, Ashlee Robertson, Ann Briggs, Clare Haussegger,
Mary Whiteside and Sarah MacLean / La Trobe University; study funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF).

From this research, gambling appears widespread and popular in the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal community, including among young people. Community members identify the positive aspects of gambling, and also see the harm, including for young people and children. It is also clear that for a range of important reasons, young people and the broader community have some concerns about discussing gambling harm. However, it is apparent from this research that gambling is closely connected to other issues that services and community members are seeking to address (from drug and alcohol to mental illness to children’s welfare and poverty and deprivation), and that gambling is both a cause and a consequence of problems in these areas. Full report

Prevalence of youth gambling and potential influence of substance use and other risk factors across 33 European countries: First results from the 2015 ESPAD study [subscription access article]

(2018) Prevalence of youth gambling and potential influence of substance use and other risk factors across 33 European countries: First results from the 2015 ESPAD study. Addiction, doi: 10.1111/add.14275. Full citation

Abstract: Although generally prohibited by national regulations, underage gambling has become popular in Europe, with relevant cross‐country prevalence variability. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of underage gambling in Europe stratified by type of game and on‐line/off‐line mode and to examine the association with individual and family characteristics and substance use. Read more

Prevalence of Adolescent Problem Gambling: A Systematic Review of Recent Research – full text

Calado, F., Alexandre, J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2016). Prevalence of Adolescent Problem Gambling: A Systematic Review of Recent Research. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–28.
Previous research has shown that gambling is a popular activity among adolescents. Following a rapid expansion of legalized gambling opportunities and the emergence of new forms of gambling, many researchers have carried out studies on adolescent gambling and problem gambling. The present paper reviews studies that have been conducted worldwide since 2000, and then presents a more detailed picture of adolescent gambling research in Europe, by providing a country-by country analysis. After an extensive search on academic databases and following an exclusion process, 44 studies were identified. The findings showed that 0.2–12.3 % of youth meet criteria for problem gambling, notwithstanding differences among assessment instruments, cut-offs, and timeframes. However, despite this variability, several demographic characteristics were associated with adolescent gambling involvement and problem gambling. It is concluded that a small but significant minority of adolescents have gambling-related problems. Such findings will hopefully encourage more research into youth gambling to further understand the determinants of this phenomenon.

Youth Gambling Behavior: Novel Approaches to Prevention and Intervention – Open Access

While gambling has been traditionally viewed as an adult activity there has been a growing body of research suggesting its popularity amongst adolescents. Despite findings that suggest that most youth gamble in a relatively responsible manner and have few negative gambling-related behaviors there is strong evidence that they constitute a vulnerable group for gambling disorders. The current paper addresses our current knowledge concerning the prevention of youth gambling problems and provides new potential strategies for helping young individuals experiencing a gambling disorder. While the research lacks strong evidence for best practices, a number of novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of gambling disorders for youth are discussed.