Parameters for Safer Gambling Behavior: Examining the Empirical Research
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There have been claims that new gambling technology is hazardous to player health, and that technological interventions can alleviate gambling-related harm. In this paper, we systematically review the empirical research about the nexus between gambling and technology to evaluate the veracity of these claims. We use a public health perspective (i.e., the Epidemiologic Triangle) to organize and present study results (i.e., agent, host, and environment). This review intends to offer insight about emerging technology and identify areas that indicate a need for additional research. Forty-seven studies met our inclusion and exclusion criteria; a review of this body of work shows that attempts to develop and implement safety features for new gambling technology are promising, but methodologically are rudimentary and limited in scope. Increased attention to the dynamic interaction among host, agent, and environment factors hold potential to advance the field. In addition, improved study methods (e.g., longitudinal analyses of actual betting behavior), and collaboration among policymakers, manufacturers, and researchers can increase understanding of how new gambling technology affects the public health and stimulate new strategies for implementing effective public health interventions.
KeywordsGambling Technology Product safety Public health Gaming
Bwin.com Interactive Entertainment AG provided primary support for this study. The Division on Addictions also receives support from the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, the Nevada Department of Public Health, and others. The authors extend special thanks to Chrissy Thurmond, Richard LaBrie, Sarah Nelson, and Leslie Bosworth for their support and work on this project. Ms. Peller, Dr. LaPlante, and Dr. Shaffer take responsibility for the integrity of the systematic review.
References marked with an asterisk indicate references that meet inclusion and exclusion criteria for the systematic review.
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