Differences in the gambling behavior of online and non-online student gamblers in a controlled laboratory environment

Abstract

Although research suggests that approximately 1 in 4 college students report having gambled online, few laboratory-based studies have been conducted enlisting online student gamblers. Moreover, it is unclear the extent to which differences in gambling behavior exist between online and non-online student gamblers. The current study examined if online gamblers would play more hands, commit more errors, and wager more credits than non-online student gamblers in a controlled, laboratory environment. Online (n = 19) and non-online (n = 26) student gamblers played video poker in three separate sessions and the number of hands played, errors committed, and credits wagered were recorded. Results showed that online student gamblers played more hands and committed more errors playing video poker than non-online student gamblers. The results from the current study extend previous research by suggesting that online gamblers engage in potentially more deleterious gambling behavior (e.g., playing more hands and committing more errors) than non-online gamblers. Additional research is needed to examine differences in the gambling behavior of online and non-online gamblers in a controlled, laboratory environment.

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