Electronic gaming machines and gambling disorder: A cross-cultural comparison between treatment-seeking subjects from Brazil and the United States

Abstract

Aims:
The objective of this paper is to perform a cross-cultural comparison of gambling disorder (GD) due to electronic gaming machines (EGM), a form of gambling that may have a high addictive potential. Our goal is to investigate two treatment-seeking samples of adults collected in Brazil and the United States, countries with different socio-cultural backgrounds. This comparison may lead to a better understanding of cultural influences on GD.

Methods:
The total studied sample involved 733 treatment-seeking subjects: 353 men and 380 women (average age=45.80, standard deviation ±10.9). The Brazilian sample had 517 individuals and the American sample 216. Subjects were recruited by analogous strategies.

Results:
We found that the Brazilian sample was younger, predominantly male, less likely to be Caucasian, more likely to be partnered, tended to have a faster progression from recreational gambling to GD, and were more likely to endorse chasing losses.

Conclusion:
This study demonstrated that there are significant differences between treatment-seeking samples of adults presenting GD due to EGM in Brazil and in the United States. These findings suggest that cultural aspects may have a relevant role in GD due to EGM.

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