The research examined the role of free‐to‐play gambling‐themed apps and their relationship to in‐venue gambling.
The study focused on Australian participants aged 18–29, and people with frequent electronic gaming machine (EGM) gambling experience were preferentially recruited.
According the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), the sample included a relatively balanced number of non‐problem, low‐risk, moderate‐risk and problem gamblers (24.3%, 27.2%, 26.4% and 22.1%, respectively). Slightly over half of the participants were male (57%).
Results of the research showed that:
- In retrospective accounts, children aged under 13 who play gambling‐themed apps were also more likely to gamble for money.
- In retrospective accounts, young people (13–18) who played apps prior to age 13 were more likely to have early involvement with gambling.
- In a longitudinal experiment, in weeks where young adults (18–29) played longer on gambling‐themed apps, they also gambled longer in venues.
- In a longitudinal experiment, in weeks where young adults (18‐29) played longer on gambling‐themed apps, they were also more likely to gamble for longer in venues in the subsequent week.
Rockloff, M, Greer, N, Armstrong, T, Thorne, H, Langham, E, Browne, M, Moskovsky, N, Goodwin, B & Li, E 2018, Mobile EGMs Apps – The perfect substitute or the perfect storm?, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Melbourne.