The Relationship Between Video Gaming, Gambling, and Problematic Levels of Video Gaming and Gambling

  • James Sanders
  • Robert Williams
Original Paper


The relationship between video gaming and gambling was examined in a large cross-sectional sample of 3942 Canadian online panelists who responded to a solicitation recruiting individuals who regularly gambled or played video games. Most past year video gamers reported gambling in the past year (78.5%) and most past year gamblers reported playing video games in the past year (70.7%). However, frequency of involvement in gambling as well as all individual types of gambling was only weakly correlated with frequency of involvement in video games. Problem gamblers and problem gamers were found to have similar demographic features as well as high rates of mental health problems and impulsivity. Some differences did exist, with problem video gamers tending to be younger, somewhat less impulsive, less likely to have a substance use disorder, and more likely to have depression. Despite having similar profiles, overlap between problematic levels of gaming and gambling was modest, with only 10.5% of the 466 problem gamblers also being problem video gamers and 24.1% of the 203 problem video gamers also being problem gamblers. In general, the evidence would suggest that although the risk factors and manifestations of problem gaming and problem gambling are similar, involvement and/or overinvolvement in one is not a strong predictor of involvement and/or overinvolvement in the other.


Gambling Gaming Problem gambling Problem video gaming 



This research was supported by a grant from the Alberta Gambling Research Institute.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study involving human participants was in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Lethbridge Office of Research Ethics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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