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Psychol Addict Behav. 2013 Dec;27(4):1092-101. doi: 10.1037/a0031475. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

The impact of internet gambling on gambling problems: a comparison of moderate-risk and problem Internet and non-Internet gamblers.

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  • 1Centre for Gambling Education & Research, Southern Cross University.
  • 2Department of Sociology, University of Lethbridge.
  • 3School of Psychology, University of Sydney.


Numerous studies have reported higher rates of gambling problems among Internet compared with non-Internet gamblers. However, little research has examined those at risk of developing gambling problems or overall gambling involvement. This study aimed to examine differences between problem and moderate-risk gamblers among Internet and non-Internet gamblers to determine the mechanisms for how Internet gambling may contribute to gambling problems. Australian gamblers (N = 6,682) completed an online survey that included measures of gambling participation, problem gambling severity, and help seeking. Compared with non-Internet gamblers, Internet gamblers were younger, engaged in a greater number of gambling activities, and were more likely to bet on sports. These differences were significantly greater for problem than moderate-risk gamblers. Non-Internet gamblers were more likely to gamble on electronic gaming machines, and a significantly higher proportion of problem gamblers participated in this gambling activity. Non-Internet gamblers were more likely to report health and psychological impacts of problem gambling and having sought help for gambling problems. Internet gamblers who experience gambling-related harms appear to represent a somewhat different group from non-Internet problem and moderate-risk gamblers. This has implications for the development of treatment and prevention programs, which are often based on research that does not cater for differences between subgroups of gamblers.

PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

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