Do social casino gamers migrate to online gambling? An assessment of migration rate and potential predictors


Abstract Social casino games (i.e., free-to-play online gambling games) are enjoyed by millions of players worldwide on a daily basis. Despite being free to play, social casino games share many similarities to traditional casino games. As such, concerns have been raised as to whether social casino games influences the migration to online gambling among people who have not engaged in such activity (see Griffiths in World Online Gambl 9:12–13, 2010). To date, however, no empirical research has assessed this possibility. Thus, the purpose of the present research was to assess the extent to which social casino gamers migrate to online gambling and potential predictors (time spent on social casino games, skill building, enhancement and micro-transactions) of such migration. To this end, social casino gamers who never gambled online (N = 409) completed a questionnaire battery assessing our variables of interest and were re-contacted 6-months later to see if they had engaged in online gambling during the intervening months. Approximately 26 % of social casino gamers reported having migrated to online gambling. Importantly, engagement in micro-transactions was the only unique predictor of migration from social casino gaming to online gambling. The implications for the potential harms associated with social casino gaming are discussed.

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