International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 136–153

An Exploratory Study of Interrelationships Between Social Casino Gaming, Gambling, and Problem Gambling

  • Sally M. Gainsbury
  • Nerilee Hing
  • Paul Delfabbro
  • Grant Dewar
  • Daniel L. King
Article

Abstract

The expansion of simulated ‘free-to-play’ gambling-themed activities on social media sites such as Facebook is a topic of growing research interest, with some conjecture that these activities may enable, or otherwise be associated with, gambling and problem gambling. This paper describes findings from an in-depth qualitative study which aimed to explore the interrelationships between social casino games, gambling, and problem gambling. Social casino games are typically promoted via social media sites (e.g., Facebook) and involve structurally realistic simulated forms of gambling (e.g., poker, slot machines). Ten adult users of social casino games were asked to describe: (1) their history of experiences with these activities, (2) their exposure to promotions relating to social casino games, and, (3) the perceived influence of these activities on their gambling behaviour. Respondents reported frequent exposure to promotions for social casino games and that being connected to a social network of players was a significant factor in determining their engagement in these activities. However, involvement in social casino games did not appear to affect the likelihood of gambling or the risk of problem gambling. Some problem gamblers did report, however, that these games could sometimes trigger a desire to engage in gambling. Interestingly, social casino games were commonly perceived as a safe activity that may act as a substitution for gambling. Further empirical research should investigate this possibility in more detail.

Keywords

Social casino games Internet gambling Problem gambling Social media Online gaming 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally M. Gainsbury
    • 1
  • Nerilee Hing
    • 1
  • Paul Delfabbro
    • 2
  • Grant Dewar
    • 2
  • Daniel L. King
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Gambling Education and ResearchSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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