Illusory control, gambling, and video gaming: An investigation of regular gamblers and video game players

Abstract

There is a paucity of empirical research examining the possible association between gambling and video game play. In two studies, we examined the association between video game playing, erroneous gambling cognitions, and risky gambling behaviour. One hundred and fifteen participants, including 65 electronic gambling machine (EGM) players and 50 regular video game players, were administered a questionnaire that examined video game play, gambling involvement, problem gambling, and beliefs about gambling. We then assessed each groups’ performance on a computerised gambling task that involved real money. A post-game survey examined perceptions of the skill and chance involved in the gambling task. The results showed that video game playing itself was not significantly associated with gambling involvement or problem gambling status. However, among those persons who both gambled and played video games, video game playing was uniquely and significantly positively associated with the perception of direct control over chance-based gambling events. Further research is needed to better understand the nature of this association, as it may assist in understanding the impact of emerging digital gambling technologies.

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