Internet gambling behavior in a sample of online gamblers

Abstract

The present study examined Internet gambling behavior in a sample of online gamblers. Participants {(N}?=?563; 382 male; ages 18–over 65) were recruited from a banner placed in an online newsletter. Questionnaires were completed online and assessed demographic information, game-play patterns (e.g., frequency, duration, wagering), preferred type of play, and problem gambling (using the {DSM-IV).} In addition, participation in gambling-type games without money was also examined. Seventy-seven percent of respondents reported playing gambling-type games without money and 42% reported gambling on the Internet. Twenty-three percent of participants were identified as problem gamblers. Problem gamblers were significantly more likely than social gamblers to spend more time gambling per session, gamble alone, from school, or with a cell phone, gamble with more money, wager online while consuming alcohol or illicit drugs, and lose more money gambling online. These results hint at a disturbing and difficult relationship between the Internet and individuals with gambling problems.

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