Gambling Involvement: Considering Frequency of Play and the Moderating Effects of Gender and Age

  • Tracie O. Afifi
  • Debi A. LaPlante
  • Tamara L. Taillieu
  • Damien Dowd
  • Howard J. Shaffer
Article

Abstract

Research indicates that specific types of gambling, such as electronic gaming machines (e.g., Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs), slot machines, virtual gaming machines), are associated with increased odds of experiencing gambling problems. Recent findings suggest that to advance our understanding of gambling-related problems scientists need to focus less on a simple association (e.g., specific gambling type) and more on complex models that include the extent of gambling involvement. The objective of this study is to advance this area of investigation by establishing the generalizability of the involvement effect to the general population of Canada, as well as to examine two potential moderating factors: gender and age. Secondary data analysis of the nationally representative Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) cycle 1.2 (data collected during 2002, response rate = 77 %, n = 18,913) using logistic regression models were conducted. All types of gambling were associated with problem gambling. However, when adjusting for gambling involvement (i.e., the number of games played during the past year), these specific game relationships were either eliminated or attenuated. Significant relationships remained for instant win lottery tickets, bingo, card and/or board games, electronic gaming machines outside of casinos, electronic gaming machines inside casinos, other casino gambling, horse racing, sports lotteries, and games of skill. For many types of gambling, the nature of the relationships seemed to be a function of the frequency of engagement with specific games. Gender and age did not moderate these findings. These findings indicate that focusing on a narrow direct cause (e.g., game type) for gambling problems needs to shift towards a more complex model that also includes the level of gambling involvement.

Keywords

Gambling Problem gambling Gaming Games Gambling involvement Gambling participation Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) Electronic gaming machines Casinos Lotteries Bingo Population 

Abbreviations

AOR

Adjusted odds ratio

CCHS

Canadian Community Health Survey

CPGI

Canadian Problem Gambling Index

OR

Odds ratio

VLTs

Video Lottery Terminals

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracie O. Afifi
    • 1
  • Debi A. LaPlante
    • 2
  • Tamara L. Taillieu
    • 3
  • Damien Dowd
    • 4
  • Howard J. Shaffer
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Community Health Sciences, Psychiatry, and Family Social SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Division on Addiction, The Cambridge Health Alliance, A Teaching Affiliate of Harvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Applied Health SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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