Clustering Finnish Gambler Profiles Based on the Money and Time Consumed in Gambling Activities

Abstract

Gambling involves consumption of gamblers’ money and time. Gamblers are a heterogeneous group, and in addition to grouping gamblers based on personality factors, it is also important to find different gambler profiles with respect to their gambling behavior. Using the nationally representative survey ‘Finnish Gambling 2011’ (N = 4484), this article studies the subtypes of Finnish gamblers based on the frequency of gambling and the amounts of money and time used in different gambling forms. Cluster analysis reveals six profiles of gamblers, from infrequent gamblers to omnivorous gamblers. In the further analysis of the clusters, it was found that the highest problem gambling prevalence was in the groups of sport betting + electronic gaming machine gamblers and omnivorous gamblers, which were also both dominated by men. Certain gambling consumption patterns and risk factors for problem gambling are related to both socio-demographic backgrounds of the gamblers as well as the structural and situational characteristics of the games. The results have implications for the prevention of problem gambling, as some consumption patterns may be connected with the probability of developing gambling problems.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    List of the games in the questionnaire:

      1. 1.

        (Weekly) Lotto,

      2. 2.

        Daily lotteries (e.g. Keno),

      3. 3.

        Scratch cards,

      4. 4.

        Football pools,

      5. 5.

        Other sports betting,

      6. 6.

        Trot betting (V-4),

      7. 7.

        Tote games of Veikkaus (V-5, V-75),

      8. 8.

        Casino gambling in Finland,

      9. 9.

        EGMs (not in a casino),

      10. 10

        Table games (not in a casino),

      11. 11.

        Online poker in the Finnish online casino,

      12. 12.

        Other games in the Finnish online casino,

      13. 13.

        Tote games of Fintoto (offline and online),

      14. 14.

        Online poker on PAF website,

      15. 15.

        Other PAF games,

      16. 16.

        Online poker on foreign sites,

      17. 17.

        Other games on foreign sites.

      The respondents were also asked about private betting and card games with money, but due to the small number of respondents participating in those, these games were left out of the analysis.

    • Lotto is drawn once a week, as daily lotteries have drawings daily.

  2. 2.

    Single games are categorized into seven categories. The numbers refer to the specific games listed in footnote 1. The categories are: Lotto (1); Daily lotteries and scratch cards (2, 3); Sports betting (4, 5); EGMs (9); Casino games; (8, 10); Tote games (6, 7, 13); Online gambling (11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17).

  3. 3.

    Tote games refer to betting on trotting races. There is a separate pool of money for each type of bet, and the payoffs are determined in ‘parimutuel’ fashion, so that the winning bets divide the money bet on losing bets (minus transaction costs) (Thaler and Ziemba 1988). This ‘parimutuel betting’ is known as ‘tote’ gambling in Finland and concerns horse racing only.

  4. 4.

    Until 2012, tote games were operated by two companies, Veikkaus and Fintoto, but since 2012 only Fintoto has had the right to offer horse betting games. Even though, at the time of the survey the tote games were in divided between two companies, they are all presented here in one category.

  5. 5.

    In 2013 there were 292 gambling machines in the Casino Helsinki and 20,320 gambling machines in other locations (RAY 2013).

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Acknowledgments

Maria Heiskanen worked with a research grant from the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Heiskanen, M., Toikka, A. Clustering Finnish Gambler Profiles Based on the Money and Time Consumed in Gambling Activities. J Gambl Stud 32, 363–377 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-015-9556-8

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Keywords

  • Gambling
  • Problem gambling
  • Cluster analysis
  • Finland