Games and gambling involvement among casino patrons

Abstract

A growing literature is addressing the nature of the relationships among gambling activity, gambling involvement, and gambling-related problems. This research suggests that among the general population, compared to playing any specific game, gambling involvement is a better predictor of gambling-related problems. To date, researchers have not examined these relationships among casino patrons, a population that differs from the general population in a variety of important ways. A survey of 1160 casino patrons at two Las Vegas resort casinos allowed us to determine relationships between the games that patrons played during the 12 months before their casino visit, the games that patrons played during their casino visit, and patrons’ self-perceived history of gambling-related problems. Results indicate that playing specific gambling games onsite predicted (i.e., statistically significant odds ratios ranging from .5 to 4.51) self-perceived gambling-related problems. However, after controlling for involvement, operationally defined as the number of games played during the current casino visit and self-reported gambling frequency during the past 12 months, the relationships between games and gambling-related problems disappeared or were attenuated (i.e., odds ratios no longer statistically significant). These results extend the burgeoning literature related to gambling involvement and its relationship to gambling-related problems.

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