Susceptibility to addictive behaviour in online and traditional poker playing environments

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: With the growing number of virtual sites and easy access to them, as well as increasing popularity of the game, online poker could foster addiction. The aim of the current inquiry was to gauge susceptibility to behavioural addiction in online and traditional poker players. METHODS: Ninety-six online poker players and 35 traditional players were tested on the basis of the {“Components} model” for addiction {(Griffiths}, 2005). Using a Likert scale, ratings on six components were examined: salience, conflict, mood modification, withdrawal symptoms, tolerance, and relapse. RESULTS: The traditional players scored higher than online players on measures of conflict, mood modification, and relapse. While none of the traditional players were at risk, the majority of them (94.7%) were symptomatic. Two online players were at risk, 67.7% symptomatic and 30.2% asymptomatic. No significant correlations have emerged between the amount and history of poker playing and the addiction scores. CONCLUSIONS: The current findings suggest that most traditional players are prone to behavioural addiction while the majority of the online players are also symptomatic.

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