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A case of mistaken identity? A comparison of professional and amateur problem gamblers

journal contribution
posted on 20.12.2017, 00:00 by Nerilee Hing, Alexander Russell, SM Gainsbury, A Blaszczynski
Professional gamblers are more likely than amateur gamblers to meet criteria for problem gambling but minimal research has examined their gambling behavior and its consequences. This study compared gambling behavior, problem gambling symptoms, related harms, recognition, and help-seeking among problem semi/professional gamblers (PPGs/PSPGs) and problem amateur gamblers (PAGs). Surveys completed by 57 self-identified professional gamblers, 311 semi-professional gamblers and 4226 amateur gamblers were analysed. PPGs/PSPGs were significantly more likely than PAGs to be male, younger, never married, speak a language other than English at home, and have higher psychological distress, compared to PAGs. PPGs/PSPGs were more likely to gamble more frequently on many skills-based forms, but most also participated in several chance-based forms. PPGs’/PSPGs’ most common problematic gambling form was electronic gaming machines and they were more likely to have problems with sports betting than PAGs. Most PPGs/PSPGs reported coming out behind on all gambling forms over the previous year. PPGs/PSPGs were more likely than PAGs to report chasing losses and numerous detrimental financial gambling consequences. This group’s self-identification as PPGs/PSPGs is clearly inaccurate and perhaps a means to avoid stigma, elevate status and support problem denial. PPGs/PSPGs may represent an extreme example of gamblers with erroneous cognitions and beliefs who lack the required discipline and skill to be successful professional gamblers. The findings identify a group of problem gamblers who may benefit from interventions to dispel their mistaken self-identity, and emphasize the need for more rigorous confirmation of professional gambler status in future research. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Funding

Other

History

Volume

32

Issue

1

Start Page

277

End Page

289

Number of Pages

13

eISSN

1573-3602

ISSN

1050-5350

Publisher

Springer New York LLC

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

External Author Affiliations

Southern Cross University; University of Sydney

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of Gambling Studies

Exports

CQUniversity

Exports