Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 391–405 | Cite as

Is Video-Game Playing a Risk Factor for Pathological Gambling in Australian Adolescents?

  • Paul Delfabbro
  • Daniel King
  • Chrisi Lambos
  • Stan Puglies
Original Paper


Very little research has been conducted to examine the relationship between video-game playing and gambling in adolescence. In this study, 2,669 adolescents aged 13–17 years were surveyed to obtained details of their involvement in gambling and video-game playing as well as a measure of pathological gambling (the DSM-IV-J). The results showed that, the frequency of video game playing was significantly related to pathological gambling, but that the effect size was very small and largely accounted for by the greater popularity of both activities amongst boys. There was some evidence for stronger associations between technologically similar activities, namely arcade video games and an interest in gaming machines, but other factors discussed in the paper may also account for this association. In summary, the findings suggested that playing video-games is unlikely to be a significant risk factor for pathological gambling during adolescence.


Adolescent gambling Video games Pathological gambling 



This project was supported by grant from the Independent Gambling Authority of South Australia and was supported by the S.A. Department for Education and Children’s Services.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Delfabbro
    • 1
  • Daniel King
    • 1
  • Chrisi Lambos
    • 1
  • Stan Puglies
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.AdelaideAustralia

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