Internet Gambling, Health, Smoking and Alcohol Use: Findings from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey

  • Mark Griffiths
  • Heather Wardle
  • Jim Orford
  • Kerry Sproston
  • Bob Erens


This study provides analysis of a representative national sample of Internet gamblers. Using participant data from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey (n = 9003 adults aged 16 years and over), all participants who had gambled online, bet online, and/or who had used a betting exchange in the last 12 months (6% of the total sample) were compared with all other gamblers who had not gambled via the Internet (62% of the sample). Results showed that Internet gambling and non-Internet gambling had a significant association with smoking (nicotine) and drinking (alcohol). Self-reported general health status was not significantly associated with Internet gambling but was significantly associated with offline gambling. Analysis of DSM-IV scores showed that problem gambling prevalence rate was significantly higher among Internet gamblers than non-Internet gamblers (5% versus 0.5%) and that Internet gamblers were significantly more likely to endorse individual DSM-IV items compared to non-Internet gamblers.


Internet gambling Online gambling Gambling Addiction Alcohol use Cigarette smoking Health 


  1. Agresti, A. (1990). Categorical data analysis. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edition. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  3. Broda, A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., LaBrie, R. A., Bosworth, L. B., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Virtual harm reduction efforts for Internet gambling: effects of deposit limits on actual Internet sports gambling behaviour. Harm Reduction Journal, 5, 27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Gambling Commission. (2008). Survey data on remote gambling participation. Birmingham: Gambling Commission.Google Scholar
  5. Griffiths, M. D. (2001). Internet gambling: preliminary results of the first UK prevalence study, Journal of Gambling Issues, 5. Retrieved 13 December 2008 from:
  6. Griffiths, M. D., & Sutherland, I. (1998). Adolescent gambling and drug use. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 8, 423–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Griffiths, M. D., & Cooper, G. (2003). Online therapy: Implications for problem gamblers and clinicians. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 13, 113–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Griffiths, M. D., & Parke, J. (2007). Betting on the couch: a thematic analysis of Internet gambling using case studies. Social Psychological Review, 9(2), 29–36.Google Scholar
  9. Griffiths, M. D., & Wood, R. T. A. (2007). Adolescent Internet gambling: preliminary results of a national survey. Education and Health, 25, 23–27.Google Scholar
  10. Griffiths, M. D., & Barnes, A. (2008). Internet gambling: an online empirical study among student gamblers. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 6, 194–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Griffiths, M. D., Parke, J., & Wood, R. T. A. (2002). Excessive gambling and substance abuse: is there a relationship? Journal of Substance Use, 7, 187–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Griffiths, M. D., Parke, J., Wood, R. T. A. & Rigbye, J. (2009a). Online poker gambling in university students: Further findings from an online survey. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. doi: 10.1007/s11469-009-9203-7.Google Scholar
  13. Griffiths, M. D., Wardle, J., Orford, J., Sproston, K., & Erens, B. (2009b). Socio-demographic correlates of internet gambling: findings from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 12, 199–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Griffiths, M. D., Wood, R.T.A. & Parke, J. (2009c). Social responsibility tools in online gambling: A survey of attitudes and behaviour among Internet gamblers. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 12, 413–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ialomiteanu, A., & Adlaf, E. (2001). Internet gambling among Ontario adults. Electronic Journal of Gambling Issues, 5, Retrieved 13 December 2008 from:
  16. International Gaming Research Unit (2007). An exploratory investigation into the attitudes and behaviours of internet casino and poker players (Global Online Gambling Report). Report for e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance.Google Scholar
  17. Jacobs, D. F. (1985). A general theory of addictions: a new theoretical model. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 1, 15–31.Google Scholar
  18. LaBrie, R. A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., Schumann, A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2007). Assessing the playing field: a prospective longitudinal study of internet sports gambling behavior. Journal of Gambling Studies, 23, 347–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. LaBrie, R. A., Kaplan, S., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Inside the virtual casino: A prospective longitudinal study of Internet casino gambling. European Journal of Public Health, doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckn021.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Ladd, G. T., & Petry, N. M. (2002). Disordered gambling among university-based medical and dental patients: a focus on internet gambling. Psychology of Addictive Behaviours, 16, 76–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Matthews, N., Farnsworth, W. F., & Griffiths, M. D. (2009). A pilot study of problem gambling among student online gamblers: Mood states as predictors of problematic behaviour. CyberPsychology & Behavior. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2009.0050.Google Scholar
  22. MORI/International Gaming Research Unit. (2006). Under 16 s and the national lottery. London: National Lottery Commission.Google Scholar
  23. Petry, N. M., Stinson, F. S., & Grant, B. F. (2005). Comorbidity of DSM-IV pathological gambling and other psychiatric disorders: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66, 564–574.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Polit, D. (1996). Data analysis and statistics for nursing research. Stamford, Connecticut: Appleton & Lange.Google Scholar
  25. Sevigny, S., Cloutier, M., Pelletier, M., & Ladouceur, R. (2005). Internet gambling: misleading payout rates during the “demo” period. Computers In Human Behavior, 21, 153–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Smeaton, M., & Griffiths, M. D. (2004). Internet gambling and social responsibility: an exploratory study. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 7, 49–57.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Sproston, K., Erens, B., & Orford, J. (2000). Gambling behaviour in britain, results from the British gambling prevalence survey. London: National Centre for Social Research.Google Scholar
  28. Teeson, M., Degenhardt, L., & Hall, W. (2002). Addictions. Hove: Psychology.Google Scholar
  29. Wardle, H., Sproston, K., Orford, J., Erens, B., Griffiths, M. D., Constantine, R., et al. (2007). The Briish gambling prevalence survey 2007. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  30. Wood, R. T. A., & Griffiths, M. D. (2008). Why Swedish people play online poker and factors that can increase or decrease trust in poker websites: a qualitative investigation. Journal of Gambling Issues, 21, 80–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wood, R. T. A., & Williams, R. J. (2007). Problem gambling on the internet: implications for internet gambling policy in North America. New Media & Society, 9, 520–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wood, R. T. A., Griffiths, M. D., & Parke, J. (2007). The acquisition, development, and maintenance of online poker playing in a student sample. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 10, 354–361.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Griffiths
    • 1
  • Heather Wardle
    • 2
  • Jim Orford
    • 3
  • Kerry Sproston
    • 2
  • Bob Erens
    • 2
  1. 1.International Gaming Research Unit, Division of PsychologyNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)LondonUK
  3. 3.School of PsychologyThe University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

Personalised recommendations