Assessing the Playing Field: A Prospective Longitudinal Study of Internet Sports Gambling Behavior
- 1.7k Downloads
Internet gambling is growing rapidly, as is concern about its possible effect on the public’s health. This paper reports the results of the first prospective longitudinal study of actual Internet sports gambling behavior during eight study months. Data include recorded fixed-odds bets on the outcome of sporting contests and live-action bets on the outcome of events within contests for 40,499 Internet sports gambling service subscribers who enrolled during February 2005. We tracked the following primary gambling behaviors: daily totals of the number of bets made, money bet, and money won. We transformed these variables into measures of gambling involvement. We analyzed behavior for both fixed-odds and live-action bets. The median betting behavior of the 39,719 fixed-odds bettors was to place 2.5 bets of €4 (approximately $5.3 US) every fourth day during the median 4 months from first to last bet. This typical pattern incurred a loss of 29% of the amount wagered. The median betting behavior of the 24,794 live-action bettors was to place 2.8 wagers of €4 every fourth day during the median duration of 6 weeks at a loss of 18% of the amount wagered. We also examined the behavior of empirically determined groups of heavily involved bettors whose activity exceeded that of 99% of the sample.
KeywordsGambling Internet gambling Internet Epidemiology Public health
Bwin.com, Interactive Entertainment, AG provided primary support for this study. The authors extend special thanks to Sarbani Hazra, Christine Reilly, Christine Thurmond, and Ziming Xuan for their support and work on this project. Dr. LaBrie had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. None of these supporters or any of the authors has personal interests in bwin.com and its associated companies that would suggest a conflict of interest.
- Bray, H. (2006). Could the future of Internet gambling in the US lie in Antigua? Retrieved March 30, 2006, from www.boston.com.Google Scholar
- Federal Trade Commission. (2003). Online gambling and kids: A bad bet. Retrieved December 20, 2003, from http://www.ftc.gov/gamble.
- General Accounting Office. (2002). Internet gambling: An overview of the issues (No. GAO-03-89). Washington, DC: United States General Accounting Office.Google Scholar
- Griffiths, M. D. (2001). Internet gambling: Preliminary results of the first U.K. prevalence study. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from http://www.camh.net/egambling/issue5/research/griffiths_article.htmlGoogle Scholar
- Ialomiteanu, A., & Adlaf, E., M. (2002). Internet gambling among Ontario Adults. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from http://www.camh.net/egambling/issue5/research/ialomiteanu_adlaf_article.htmlGoogle Scholar
- Jacques, C., Ladouceur, R., & Ferland, F. (2000). Impact of availability on gambling: A longitudinal study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 45(9), 810–815.Google Scholar
- National Research Council. (1999). Pathological gambling: A critical review. Washington DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R., LaPlante, D., Nelson, S. E., & Stanton, M. V. (2004). The road less traveled: Moving from distribution to determinants in the study of gambling epidemiology. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(8), 504–516.Google Scholar
- Vander Bilt, J., Dodge, H., Pandav, R., Shaffer, H. J., & Ganguli, M. (2004). Gambling participation and social support among older adults: A longitudinal community study. Journal of Gambling Studies, 20, 373–389.Google Scholar
- Wall Street Journal. (2006). Should online gambling be banned? Retrieved April 4, 2006, from www.wsj.com.Google Scholar
- Wiebe, J., Single, E., & Falkowski-Ham, A. (2003). Exploring the evolution of problem gambling: A one year follow-up study. Ontario: The Responsible Gaming Council.Google Scholar
- Woodruff, C., & Gregory, S. (2005). Profile of Internet gamblers: Betting on the future. UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, 9(1), 1–14.Google Scholar
- Zinberg, N. E. (1984). Drug, set, and setting. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Zinberg, N. E., & Harding, W. M. (Eds.). (1982). Control over intoxicant use. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Zinberg, N. E., Harding, W. M., & Winkeller, M. (1977). A study of social regulatory mechanisms in controlled illicit drug users. Journal of Drug Issues, 7(2), 117–133.Google Scholar