Gambling responsibly: who does it and to what end?

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Hing, N, Sproston, K, Tran, K & Russell, AMT 2017, 'Gambling responsibly: who does it and to what end?', Journal of Gambling Studies, vol. 33, issue 1, pp. 149-165.

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Numerous responsible gambling (RG) strategies are promoted to assist consumers to "gamble responsibly". However, consumer adoption of RG strategies, how this varies by gambler risk group, and whether usage is associated with non-problematic gambling are largely unknown. This study aimed to (1) determine how use of RG-related strategies differs amongst regular gamblers by gambler risk group; and (2) identify RG-related strategies whose usage predicts non-problem/low risk gambling. Regular Australian gamblers on high-risk products (N = 860), recruited through gambling venues and an online wagering operator, were surveyed about their use of RG strategies promoted on the website of their jurisdiction's main RG agency. Knowledge of RG strategies was reasonably high amongst all gambler risk groups, but lower-risk groups were more likely to use RG strategies. A logistic regression correctly predicted 82.1 % of lower-risk gamblers and 77.2 % of higher-risk gamblers. Predictors of lower-risk gambling included: greater confidence in their understanding of RG; endorsement of lower gambling expenditure and frequency limits; fewer erroneous gambling beliefs; being less likely to gamble to win money, challenge their skills/beat the odds, or forget about worries and stresses; and being more likely to gamble for pleasure/entertainment. Lower-risk gamblers were more likely to set a money limit in advance of gambling and to balance their gambling with other activities. These findings contribute to understanding which strategies are favoured by different risk groups, and which are associated with safer levels of gambling. They can guide consumer information aimed at enhancing RG consumption and future research on RG consumption.

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