Study protocol for a transversal study to develop a screening model for excessive gambling behaviours on a representative sample of users of French authorised gambling websites


Since the legalisation of online gambling in France in 2010, gambling operators must implement responsible gambling measures to prevent excessive gambling practices. However, actually there is no screening procedure for identifying problematic gamblers. Although several studies have already been performed using several data sets from online gambling operators, the authors deplored several methodological and clinical limits that prevent scientifically validating the existence of problematic gambling behaviour. The aim of this study is to develop a model for screening excessive gambling practices based on the gambling behaviours observed on French gambling websites, coupled with a clinical validation.

Methods and analysis:
The research is divided into three successive stages. All analyses will be performed for each major type of authorised online gambling in France. The first stage aims at defining a typology of users of French authorised gambling websites based on their gambling behaviour. This analysis will be based on data from the Authority for Regulating Online Gambling (ARJEL) and the Fran├žaise Des Jeux (FDJ). For the second stage aiming at determining a score to predict whether a gambler is problematic or not, we will cross answers from the Canadian Problem Gambling Index with real gambling data. The objective of the third stage is to clinically validate the score previously developed. Results from the screening model will be compared (using sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve, and positive and negative predictive values) with the diagnosis obtained with a telephone clinical interview, including diagnostic criteria for gambling addiction.

Ethics and dissemination:
This study was approved by the local Research Ethics Committee (GNEDS) on 25 March 2015. Results will be presented in national and international conferences, submitted to peer-reviewed journals and will be part of a PhD thesis. A final report with the study results will be presented to the ARJEL, especially the final screening model.

Problem with this document? Please report it to us.