Excessive Gambling and Online Gambling Communities
- 128 Downloads
The Internet provides an accessible context for online gambling and gambling-related online communities, such as discussion forums for gamblers. These communities may be particularly attractive to young gamblers who are active Internet users. The aim of this study was to examine the use of gambling-related online communities and their relevance to excessive gambling among 15–25-year-old Finnish Internet users (N = 1200). Excessive gambling was assessed by using the South Oaks Gambling Screen. Respondents were asked in a survey about their use of various kinds of gambling-related online communities, and sociodemographic and behavioral factors were adjusted. The results of the study revealed that over half (54.33%) of respondents who had visited gambling-related online communities were either at-risk gamblers or probable pathological gamblers. Discussion in these communities was mainly based on sharing gambling tips and experiences, and very few respondents said that they related to gambling problems and recovery. In three different regression models, visiting gambling-related online communities was a significant predictor for excessive gambling (with 95% confidence level) even after adjusting confounding factors. The association of visiting such sites was even stronger among probable pathological gamblers than among at-risk gamblers. Health professionals working with young people should be aware of the role of online communities in terms of development and persistence of excessive gambling. Monitoring the use of online gambling communities as well as utilizing recovery-oriented support both offline and online would be important in preventing further problems. Gambling platforms should also include warnings about excessive gambling and provide links to helpful sources.
KeywordsGambling Excessive gambling Internet Online communities
This research received funding from the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies (Problem Gambling and Social Media project, Grant Decisions 2016 & 2017).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Binde, P. (2009a). Gambling motivation and involvement: A review of social science research. Stockholm: Swedish National Institute of Public Health.Google Scholar
- Caputo, A. (2015). Sharing problem gamblers’ experiences: A text analysis of gambling stories via online forum. Mediterranean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 3(1), 1–26.Google Scholar
- Orford, J. (2001). Excessive appetites: A psychological view of addictions. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Parke, A., & Griffiths, M. (2013). Poker gambling virtual communities: The use of computer-mediated communication to develop cognitive poker gambling skills. In R. Zheng (ed.), Evolving psychological and educational perspectives on cyber behavior (pp. 190–204). IGI Global.Google Scholar
- Salonen, A., & Raisamo, S. (2015). Suomalaisten rahapelaaminen 2015-Rahapelaaminen, rahapeliongelmat ja rahapelaamiseen liittyvät asenteet ja mielipiteet 15-74-vuotiailla. [Finnish gambling 2015. Gambling, gambling problems, and attitudes and opinions on gambling among Finns aged 15–74.] National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Report 16/2015.Google Scholar
- Statistics Finland. (2016). Population structure in Finland. Statistics Finland PX-Web Database. http://pxnet2.stat.fi/PXWeb/pxweb/fi/StatFin/. Accessed 15 August 2017.
- WHO. (2017). Gambling disorder. In ICD-11 (beta draft). http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd11/browse/f/en#/http%3a%2f%2fid.who.int%2ficd%2fentity%2f1041487064. Accessed 20 August 2017.