Greater involvement and diversity of internet gambling as a risk factor for problem gambling
journal contributionposted on 21.12.2017, 00:00 by SM Gainsbury, Alexander Russell, A Blaszczynski, Nerilee Hing
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association.Background: Concerns that Internet gambling has elevated the prevalence of problem gambling have not been substantiated; however, evidence suggests a subgroup of Internet gamblers do experience higher rates of gambling harms. Greater overall involvement in gambling appears to be predictive of harms. The purpose of this study was to examine differences between Internet gamblers with a single or multiple online gambling accounts, including their gambling behaviours, factors influencing their online gambling and risk of experiencing gambling problems. Methods: Internet gamblers (3178) responding to an online survey that assessed their gambling behaviour, and use of single or multiple online gambling accounts. Results: Results revealed that multiple account holders were more involved gamblers, gambling on more activities and more frequently, and had higher rates of gambling problems than single account holders. Multiple account holders selected gambling sites based on price, betting options, payout rates and game experience, whereas single account holders prioritized legality and consumer protection features. Conclusion: Results suggest two different types of Internet gamblers: one motivated to move between sites to optimize preferred experiences with a tendency to gamble in a more volatile manner; and a smaller, but more stable group less influenced by promotions and experiences, and seeking a reputable and safe gambling experience. As the majority of Internet gamblers use multiple accounts, more universal responsible gambling strategies are needed to assist gamblers to track and control their expenditure to reduce risks of harm.