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BMJ Open. 2017 May 17;7(5):e014600. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014600.

Study protocol for a transversal study to develop a screening model for excessive gambling behaviours on a representative sample of users of French authorised gambling websites.

Author information

Université de Nantes, Université de Tours, INSERM, SPHERE U1246, Nantes, France.
Department of Addictology and Psychiatry, CHU Nantes, Clinical Investigation Unit 'Behavioral Addictions/Complex Affective Disorders', Nantes, France.
Observatoire des jeux, Ministère des Finances, Paris, France.



Since the legalisation of online gambling in France in 2010, gambling operators must implement responsible gambling measures to prevent excessive gambling practices. However, actually there is no screening procedure for identifying problematic gamblers. Although several studies have already been performed using several data sets from online gambling operators, the authors deplored several methodological and clinical limits that prevent scientifically validating the existence of problematic gambling behaviour. The aim of this study is to develop a model for screening excessive gambling practices based on the gambling behaviours observed on French gambling websites, coupled with a clinical validation.


The research is divided into three successive stages. All analyses will be performed for each major type of authorised online gambling in France. The first stage aims at defining a typology of users of French authorised gambling websites based on their gambling behaviour. This analysis will be based on data from the Authority for Regulating Online Gambling (ARJEL) and the Française Des Jeux (FDJ). For the second stage aiming at determining a score to predict whether a gambler is problematic or not, we will cross answers from the Canadian Problem Gambling Index with real gambling data. The objective of the third stage is to clinically validate the score previously developed. Results from the screening model will be compared (using sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve, and positive and negative predictive values) with the diagnosis obtained with a telephone clinical interview, including diagnostic criteria for gambling addiction.


This study was approved by the local Research Ethics Committee (GNEDS) on 25 March 2015. Results will be presented in national and international conferences, submitted to peer-reviewed journals and will be part of a PhD thesis. A final report with the study results will be presented to the ARJEL, especially the final screening model.




Online gambling; classification; latent class model; predictive model.; prevention; problem gambling

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: MG-B, JC and GC-B declare that the University Hospital of Nantes has received gambling industry (FDJ and PMU) funding in the form of a sponsorship which supports the gambling section of the BALANCED Unit (the Reference Centre for Excessive Gambling). Scientific independence towards gambling industry operators is warranted. There were no publishing constraints. BP, J-MC and J-BH declare that they have no conflict of interest

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