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J Gambl Stud. 2018 Sep;34(3):929-947. doi: 10.1007/s10899-018-9755-1.

Do Simulated Gambling Activities Predict Gambling with Real Money During Adolescence? Empirical Findings from a Longitudinal Study.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology und Cognition Research, University of Bremen, Grazerstr. 4, 28359, Bremen, Germany. tobha@uni-bremen.de.
2
Institute for Interdisciplinary Addiction and Drug Research, Lokstedter Weg 24, 20251, Hamburg, Germany.
3
Institute of Psychology und Cognition Research, University of Bremen, Grazerstr. 4, 28359, Bremen, Germany.

Abstract

As technology has developed, the international gambling market has changed markedly in recent years. The supply of internet-based gambling opportunities has become ever more significant. At the same time, the introduction of new gambling opportunities always brings a demand for evidence-based scientific evaluation, with regard to the associated risks of addiction. Simulated internet gambling, which is the focus of this study, represents a relatively new product group located at the interface between gambling and computer gaming. Concerns have been raised in scientific literature, especially with regard to the adolescent age group, as to whether participation in simulated internet gambling directly promotes recruitment to the world of monetary gambling, as defined in the gateway hypothesis. The research design was based on a standardized, representative longitudinal survey (over a 1-year period) with a total of 1178 school pupils from Northern Germany (M = 13.6 years; 47.5% male). It must be borne in mind that 12% of the adolescents belonged to the subgroup of "onset gamblers" and first reported experience with monetary gambling at the second stage of surveying. Logistic regression analysis demonstrates that this migration process is fostered by (1) participation from home in simulated gambling on social networks and (2) significant exposure to advertising (relating to both simulated and monetary gambling). Within the subgroup of simulated internet gamblers, variables such as particular patterns of use (including breadth and depth of involvement with simulated internet gambling, certain motives for participation, and microtransactions) do not serve as significant predictors. Despite this, important needs for action for the purposes of prevention and research can be identified.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Gambling onset; Longitudinal study; Predictors; School survey; Simulated gambling

PMID:
29435822
DOI:
10.1007/s10899-018-9755-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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