Gambling behaviour and the prevalence of gambling problems in adult EGM gamblers when EGMs are banned: A natural experiment

Abstract

In this article, findings of a panel study among former EGM gamblers are discussed. The data were collected in two waves during 2007, and 1293 people, 18 years or older, participated. The background for the study was the Norwegian ban on EGMs from 1 July 2007, and the aim was to investigate how this ban affected gambling involvement and problem levels in the sample. The analysis shows that gambling participation, gambling frequencies and gambling problems were reduced after EGMs disappeared from the market. There was no indication of the development of an illegal EGM market, or of substitution of EGMs with other types of gambling. A reduction in other types of gambling is interpreted as an indication of synergetic effects between games. Reduced gambling participation among the most active EGM gamblers, and among risk gamblers, shows that the reductions in gambling availability had an effect even on highly involved gamblers.

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