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The identification of Australian low-risk gambling limits: A comparison of gambling-related harm measures
journal contributionposted on 14.07.2021, 22:30 by Nicki A Dowling, Christopher J Greenwood, Stephanie S Merkouris, George J Youssef, Matthew Browne, Matthew Rockloff, Paul Myers
Background and aims: Problem gambling severity and gambling-related harm are closely coupled, but conceptually distinct, constructs. The primary aim was to compare low-risk gambling limits when gambling-related harm was defined using the negative consequence items of the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI-Harm) and the Short Gambling Harms Scale items (SGHS-Harm). A secondary aim was compare low-risk limits derived using a definition of harm in which at least two harms across different domains (e.g. financial and relationship) were endorsed with a definition of harm in which at least two harms from any domain were endorsed. Methods: Data were collected from dual-frame computer-assisted telephone interviews of 5,000 respondents in the fourth Social and Economic Impact Study (SEIS) of Gambling in Tasmania. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyse were conducted to identify low-risk gambling limits. Results: PGSI-Harm and SGHS-Harm definitions produced similar overall limits: 30-37 times per year; AUD$510-$544 per year; expenditure comprising no more than 10.2-10.3% of gross personal income; 400-454 minutes per year; and 2 types of gambling activities per year. Acceptable limits (AUC ≥0.70) were identified for horse/dog racing, keno, and sports/other betting using the PGSI definition; and electronic gaming machines, keno, and bingo using the SGHS definition. The requirement that gamblers endorse two or more harms across different domains had a relatively negligible effect. Discussion and conclusions: Although replications using alternative measures of harm are required, previous PGSI-based limits appear to be robust thresholds that have considerable potential utility in the prevention of gambling-related harm.