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“It did not apply to me”: poker players’ perspectives of prevention messages

Abstract

Objective

Despite the risks associated with poker and its unique characteristics when compared with other forms of gambling, little knowledge exists of poker players’ perceptions of prevention strategies. The aim of this study was to explore poker players’ perceptions and understandings of existing problem gambling prevention strategies.

Methods

This exploratory qualitative study is a secondary data analysis of interviews conducted as a part of a sequential mixed-methods research project, with 12 poker players.

Results

Two main themes emerged from the thematic analysis highlighting a distinction between institutional and personal prevention strategies. When speaking about institutional prevention efforts, players were critical of existing formats, messages, and who these messages were being developed and disseminated by and for. Players believed existing messaging strategies demonstrate an overall lack of awareness concerning the reality of poker. Personal preventive strategies that players themselves put in place to reduce risks included money management, playing for free, maintaining a healthy play-life balance, and managing emotions, to be aware of their relationship with poker, as well as spotting paying opportunities.

Conclusions

Given poker players’ lack of receptivity to existing prevention messaging, it is essential to consider the unique nature of poker and its players. It is also imperative to explore the potential benefits of collaborating with players when it comes to targeted prevention strategies.

Résumé

Objectif

Malgré les risques associés au poker et ses caractéristiques uniques comparé aux autres formes de jeux de hasard et d’argent, la perception des joueurs de poker quant aux stratégies de prévention reste méconnue. L’objectif de cette étude est d’explorer les perceptions et la compréhension des joueurs de poker quant aux stratégies de prévention existantes pour les problèmes de jeu.

Méthode

Cette étude qualitative exploratoire repose sur des analyses de données secondaires d’entrevues réalisées auprès de 12 joueurs de poker d’un projet empruntant un devis de recherche mixte séquentiel.

Résultats

Deux thèmes principaux ont émergé de l’analyse thématique, soulignant la distinction entre les stratégies de prévention institutionnelles et personnelles. Lorsqu’il s’agit de prévention institutionnelle, les joueurs ont critiqué les formats, les messages et par qui les messages étaient élaborés et diffusés. Les joueurs ont estimé que les stratégies existantes démontraient un manque général de connaissance de la réalité du poker. Les stratégies de prévention personnelles que les joueurs mettent en place par eux-mêmes pour réduire les risques comprennent la gestion de l’argent, jouer gratuitement, maintenir un équilibre entre le poker et la vie personnelle et gérer ses émotions, prendre conscience de sa relation avec le poker, ainsi que le repérage des opportunités payantes.

Conclusions

Étant donné le manque de réceptivité des joueurs de poker aux messages de prévention existants, il est essentiel de considérer la nature unique du poker et de ses joueurs. Il est également impératif d’explorer les avantages potentiels d’une collaboration avec les joueurs de poker lorsqu’il s’agit de stratégies de prévention ciblées.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the participants and the members of the research team.

Funding information

This research was supported by the founding agency Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture under grant <2012-JU-164313>.

Author information

Correspondence to Adèle Morvannou.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Morvannou, A., Monson, E., Savard, A. et al. “It did not apply to me”: poker players’ perspectives of prevention messages. Can J Public Health (2020). https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-019-00283-4

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Keywords

  • Prevention
  • Harm reduction
  • Poker
  • Problem gambling
  • Qualitative
  • Players perspective

Mots-clés

  • Prévention
  • Réduction des méfaits
  • Poker
  • Problèmes de jeu
  • Qualitatif
  • Perspective des joueurs