Prize level and debt size impact on gambling behaviour

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Publication details

Crewe-Brown, C, Blaszczynski, A & Russell, A 2014, 'Prize level and debt size: impact on gambling behaviour', Journal of Gambling Studies, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 639-651.

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No studies to date have specifically determined the relationship between prize levels, debt size, and impulsivity on reported gambling behaviour on Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM). The present study reports the findings of a pilot study designed to investigate whether or not the likelihood of increasing the size of a bet was related to the level of prize offered and personal debt. The sample consisted of 171 first year psychology students (61 males and 120 females). Participants completed a series of gambling vignettes designed to elicit data on reported bet size according to different prize levels and debt sizes; the Eysenck Impulsivity Scale (Eysenck and Eysenck 1977); the Canadian Problem Gambling Index; and an author-constructed questionnaire eliciting data on demographic and gambling behaviours. Results indicated that as prize levels increase the odds (relative risk) of an individual placing a bet on an EGM and the amount of money reportedly bet tends to increase. A negative relationship between debt size and reported gambling behaviour moderated by prize level was found. No differences were found in the odds of placing a bet according to impulsivity. It was concluded that prize and debt sizes do influence propensities to gamble and level of bets. The findings have implications for restricting jackpot and general prize levels as a responsible gambling strategy designed to reduce motivations to gamble.

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