Gambling Problem Trajectories and Associated Individuals Risk Factors: A Three-Year Follow-Up Study Among Poker Players

Abstract

Despite the popularity in poker-related activities in recent years, few studies have focused on the evolution of gambling habits of poker players over a long period of time. The aim of this study is to examine factors influencing trajectories of poker players. The results are based on data collected at a four-time measurement of a prospective cohort study conducted in Quebec (n = 304 poker players). A latent class growth analysis was performed to identify trajectories based on the Problem Gambling Severity Index score. Multinomial multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the correlates of gambling trajectories. Over the 3 years of the study, three gambling problem trajectories were identified, comprising one decreasing trajectory (1st: non-problematic—diminishing), one stable trajectory (2nd: low risk—stable), and one increasing trajectory (3th: problem gamblers—increasing). Internet as the main poker form and number of game played were associated with at-risk trajectories. Depression symptoms were significant predictors of the third trajectory whereas impulsivity predicted the second trajectory. This study shows that the risk is remaining low over years for the vast majority of poker players. However, the vulnerable poker players at the beginning of the study remain on a problematic increasing trajectory. It is therefore important to prioritize individuals in the third trajectory for interventions.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all participants that collaborated in this study and all members of the research team.

Funding

This study was funded by Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et Culture (FRQSC) (Grant no. 2012-JU-164313).

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Correspondence to Magali Dufour.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This research received institutional ethical boards approvals of the Lettres et sciences humaines at the Université de Sherbrooke (2012-17/Dufour/) and the Université du Québec à Trois Rivières (CER-12-182-04.04.01).

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Dufour, M., Morvannou, A., Brunelle, N. et al. Gambling Problem Trajectories and Associated Individuals Risk Factors: A Three-Year Follow-Up Study Among Poker Players. J Gambl Stud 36, 355–371 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-019-09831-6

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Keywords

  • Poker
  • Gambling problems
  • Trajectories
  • Prospective cohort study
  • Internet gambling