Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 1039–1050 | Cite as

Anxiety, Depression and Emotion Regulation Among Regular Online Poker Players

  • Servane Barrault
  • Céline Bonnaire
  • Florian Herrmann
Original Paper


Poker is a type of gambling that has specific features, including the need to regulate one’s emotion to be successful. The aim of the present study is to assess emotion regulation, anxiety and depression in a sample of regular poker players, and to compare the results of problem and non-problem gamblers. 416 regular online poker players completed online questionnaires including sociodemographic data, measures of problem gambling (CPGI), anxiety and depression (HAD scale), and emotion regulation (ERQ). The CPGI was used to divide participants into four groups according to the intensity of their gambling practice (non-problem, low risk, moderate risk and problem gamblers). Anxiety and depression were significantly higher among severe-problem gamblers than among the other groups. Both significantly predicted problem gambling. On the other hand, there was no difference between groups in emotion regulation (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression), which was linked neither to problem gambling nor to anxiety and depression (except for cognitive reappraisal, which was significantly correlated to anxiety). Our results underline the links between anxiety, depression and problem gambling among poker players. If emotion regulation is involved in problem gambling among poker players, as strongly suggested by data from the literature, the emotion regulation strategies we assessed (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression) may not be those involved. Further studies are thus needed to investigate the involvement of other emotion regulation strategies.


Problem gambling Poker Emotion regulation Depression Anxiety 



The authors thank Elisabeth Yates for her language review and editing.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. All ethics standards were respected (anonymity, informed consent etc.).

Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals

The ethics committee of the University of Paris Descartes (CERES) approved the study.

Ethical Approval

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. This study was approved by the ethics committee of the University of Paris Descartes (CERES).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology Department, EA2114, Laboratory of Ages of Life Psychology and Adaptation, PRES Centre-Val de Loire UniversityUniversity François Rabelais of ToursTours CedexFrance
  2. 2.CHRU of Tours, CSAPA 37 (Centre de Soins d’Accompagnement et de Prévention en Addictologie)Tours CedexFrance
  3. 3.Laboratory of Psychopathology and Health ProcessesParis Descartes UniversityBoulogne-Billancourt CedexFrance

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