Title

The relationship between player losses and gambling-related harm: evidence from nationally representative cross-sectional surveys in four countries

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Markham, F, Young, M & Doran, B 2016, 'The relationship between player losses and gambling-related harm: evidence from nationally representative cross-sectional surveys in four countries', Addiction, vol. 111, no. 2, pp. 320-330.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.13178

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Background and Aims: Flaws in previous studies mean that findings of J-shaped risk curves for gambling should be disregarded. The current study aims to estimate the shape of risk curves for gambling losses and risk of gambling-related harm (a) for total gambling losses and (b) disaggregated by gambling activity.
Design: Four cross-sectional surveys. Setting: Nationally representative surveys of adults in Australia (1999), Canada (2000), Finland (2011) and Norway (2002).
Participants: A total of 10 632 Australian adults, 3120 Canadian adults, 4484 people aged 15–74 years in Finland and 5235 people aged 15–74 years in Norway.
Measurements: Problem gambling risk was measured using the modified South Oaks Gambling Screen, the NORC DSM Screen for Gambling Problems and the Problem Gambling Severity Index.
Findings: Risk curves for total gambling losses were estimated to be r-shaped in Australia {β losses = 4.7 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.8, 6.5], β losses2 = –7.6 (95% CI = –17.5, –4.5)}, Canada [β losses = 2.0 (95% CI = 1.3, 3.9), β losses2 = –3.9 (95% CI = –15.4, –2.2)] and Finland [β losses = 3.6 (95% CI = 2.5, 7.5), β losses2 = –4.4 (95% CI = –34.9, –2.4)] and linear in Norway [β losses = 1.6 (95% CI = 0.6, 3.1), β losses2 = –2.6 (95% CI = –12.6, 1.4)]. Risk curves for different gambling activities showed either linear, r-shaped or non-significant relationships.
Conclusions: Player loss–risk curves for total gambling losses and for different gambling activities are likely to be linear or r-shaped. For total losses and electronic gaming machines, there is no evidence of a threshold below which increasing losses does not increase the risk of harm.