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International research on gambling and problem gambling


Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno ... a research program, funded by government gambling money ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: International research on gambling and problem gambling

International research on gambling and problem
  • Robin Room
  • SoRAD, Stockholm University
  • Presentation at the
  • Nordic Seminar on Gambling and Gambling
    Dependence, Helsinki, 14-16 March, 2005

Gambling studies a relatively young field
  • Few specialized journals
  • Journal of Gambling Studies 1985
  • e-gambling (electronic journal) 2000
  • Most research from relatively few countries
  • Netherlands, U.S., Australia, Canada, New
    Zealand, U.K., Switzerland, Sweden ...
  • Split between orientations
  • addiction/pathological gambling
  • economic analyses community and national levels
  • ethnographic and social history analyses

Research centres on gambling 1.
  • Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling
    and Related Disorders, Division of Addictions at
    Harvard Medical School
  • both a research centre and a granting agency with
    money from industry sources (National Center for
    Responsible Gaming -- NCRG)
  • Institute for the Study of Gambling and
    Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada,
  • secondary university campus funding from US
    Dept. of Justice also from industry sources?
  • Games and Gambling Research Group, Tilburg
    University, Netherlands
  • university in transition
  • New Zealand Gaming Survey, Massey University,
  • a study becoming a research program, funded by
    government gambling money
  • Australian Centre for Gambling Research,
    University of Western Sydney
  • secondary university funding from govt and
    semi-govt gambling agencies

Research centres on gambling2. As part of
addiction studies
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto
  • funding from provinces health dept, also from
  • Centre for Addiction Studies, University of
    Minnesota, Duluth
  • funding from state health department
  • Addiction Research, Zürich
  • funding as part of legislated social
    responsibility of casino
  • Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research
  • government-funded projects

Otherwise commissions, research networks,
individual researchers
  • US National Gambling Impact Study Commission
  • Report, Pathological Gambling A Critical Review
  • national survey by National Opinion Research
    Corporation (NORC)
  • Productivity Commission, Australia
  • report Australias Gambling Industries
  • Rachel Volberg as a nexus of population surveys
    on gambling
  • adult and adolescent prevalence studies in U.S.,
    Canada, New Zealand, Sweden
  • European Association for the Study of Gambling
  • 6th European Conference on Gambling Policy
    Policy Issues, Malmö, Sweden, 29 June 2 July
  • individual scholars
  • Mark Griffiths, Robert Ladouceur, Harold Wynne,
    Patricia Stokowski, Brian Castellani, Michael
    Walker, Susan Fisher others

Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?(who will oversee
the overseers?)
  • Gambling as a state-directed activity even in
    neo-liberal heartlands
  • internationally, often the same agency directs
    the gambling and regulates it
  • government gambling agencies often resistant to
    definitions of the situation and research which
    raises questions about their practice
  • research funding as public relations for private
  • gambling industry influence on which research
    questions are asked
  • Internet gambling as checkmate for the state?
  • thinking about international regulatory regimes
  • gambling as a locus for money-laundering

Issues in gambling studies1. How to
conceptualize and measure gambling problems
  • the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) and its
  • DSM-IV pathological gambling (Fisher)
  • modeled on alcohol/drug dependence
  • but 5 criteria instead of 3
  • (4 in DSM-III-R 3 in DSM-III)
  • manic episodes excluded
  • Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI)
  • Intensity of gambling, problem gambling
    behaviour, adverse social health consequences,
    correlates of gambling
  • mixed epistemology gambling behaviour,
    craving/loss of control, social consequences,
  • Life-areas problems measure

Issues in gambling studies2. How much do
different modes have in common?
  • What are the limits of gambling?
  • the stock market (day-traders)
  • the action (Goffman) testing oneself with
  • Different payoff time-cycles
  • immediate for the Jack Vegas machine, the scratch
  • short-term for the horse or dog race
  • longer term for occasional lotteries, etc.
  • The different social worlds of gambling
  • bingo halls, horse racetracks, international
    casinos, regular poker among friends
  • different modes appeal to different demographics

Issues in gambling studies3. overlaps mutual
influences with other addictions
  • Complementarity between gambling nicotine,
    gambling drinking
  • The opportunity of smoking bans in pubs and
    gambling halls/rooms
  • 11 decline in slot machine revenue in Victoria
    the year smoking banned around gambling machines
  • What happens to gambling (Jack Vegas machines),
    to drinking when smoking banned in Seddish
    pubs/restaurants, 1 July 2005
  • Policy impact research, but also
  • A rare opportunity to study complementarity how
    one behaviour changes when another does.

Issues in gambling studies4. The social
location of gambling
  • Social definitions
  • family fun
  • fun for grown-ups
  • where the action is
  • at the margins of society
  • Gambling and social exclusion
  • one more test of skötsamhet
  • relative deprivation gambling a regressive
  • International comparisons
  • cultural propensities
  • availability policies regulation and promotion
  • comparative EU study?

Issues in gambling studies5. Where do problem
gamblers go for help?
  • Ontario experience
  • treatment provision in addiction treatment system
  • but few come where do they go?
  • gambling problems in acute form as money
    problems, relationship problems?
  • welfare system
  • money problems advisors?
  • need to study trajectories of problematic

Issues in gambling studies6. Developing an
evidence base on treatment modalities
  • only a small base of controlled studies
  • developing and testing a treatment modality
  • what is it that is to be treated?
  • errors in cognition
  • a bad habit
  • craving/loss of control
  • problems for the family and in daily life
  • treatment system studies
  • where should help be located?
  • how to build effective referral mechanisms
  • early interventions?

Issues in gambling studies7. Prevention studies
  • education
  • teaching the odds as prevention?
  • the general failure of school-based approaches
  • how to impress teenagers
  • the lesson of Florida tobacco attack the
    marketers motives
  • community prevention trials
  • a next step for the casino communities?
  • Can Nordic social solidarity restrain and
    reintegrate the problematic gambler?
  • what are the limits of community action?

Issues in gambling studies8. Regulating
gambling modalities to diminish the harm
  • Studying situational characteristics which hold
    the problematic gambler in the situation
  • play and payoff timing, lighting and ambience,
  • reverse engineering the built-in attractions
  • Policy impact studies on the effects of controls
    of availability
  • opening hours days
  • limiting locations
  • limiting payoffs

Issues in gambling studies9. Supply and
  • Studying the industry and the regulators
  • internationalization of the industry (and of
    commercial knowledge)
  • the regulators reconciling mixed motives
  • the scope for local action controlling
    nuisances or beggaring the neighbours?
  • Internationalizing regulatory knowledge

Building a research tradition
  • A coherent research plan, but also room for new
  • Stable sources of funding
  • Building a cadre with careers in the field
  • Research networks and centres
  • Inter-Nordic cooperation?