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Abstract

Background and aims

Youth gambling research mainly focuses on the illegal use of age-restricted machines, but coin pusher and crane grab machines are gambling machines that can be used by people of any age in the UK, and are also in use internationally. Previous cross-sectional evidence has associated recollected childhood usage of these machines with adult gambling participation and levels of problem gambling amongst adult gamblers. We attempted to conceptually replicate the findings of one of these studies (Newall et al., 2021), while addressing some limitations of that study.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey of 2,000 UK-based and -born participants aged 19–24 years. The measures were participants' recollected usage of coin pusher and crane grab machines as a child, whether they had gambled in the past 12-months or not, and the PGSI for past 12-month gamblers.

Results

Overall, 5 of 7 tested associations were significant and in the hypothesized direction. Logistic regression models showed that adult gamblers were more likely to recollect using, and used at higher levels of frequency, coin pusher and crane grab machines, than non-gamblers. Then, negative binomial regression analysis showed that adults who recollected using crane grab machines at higher levels of frequency showed more gambling-related problems.

Discussion and Conclusions

These results suggest that childhood usage of coin pusher and crane grab machines may act as an underappreciated risk factor for the development of gambling-related harm across the lifespan. This information may be considered for further youth gambling research and policy.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Personal investors decrease their stock market investment returns by trading frequently, which the behavioral finance literature has primarily explained via investors' overconfidence and low levels of financial literacy. This study investigates whether problem gambling can help account for frequent trading in a sample of active gambler/investors, as suggestive of frequent trading being in part driven by a behavioral addiction to gambling-like activities.

Methods

A retrospective cross-sectional study of 795 US-based participants, who reported both being active gamblers and holding stock market investments. Recollected stock trading activity (typical portfolio size, purchases and sales of stocks) was compared with scores on the Problem Gambling Severity Index, a financial literacy scale, and a measure of overconfidence.

Results

Self-reported relative stock portfolio turnover was positively associated with problem gambling scores. This association was robust to controls for financial literacy, overconfidence, and demographics, and occurred equally among investors of all self-reported portfolio sizes.

Discussion and conclusions

This study provides support for the hypothesis that behavioral addiction to gambling-like activities is associated with frequent stock market trading. New investment products that increase the ease of trading may therefore be detrimental to some investors.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Philip W.S. Newall
,
Lukasz Walasek
,
Rebecca Vázquez Kiesel
,
Elliot A. Ludvig
, and
Caroline Meyer

Abstract

Background and aims

Request-a-bet services are a modern gambling product delivered via the social network Twitter, which allow sports bettors to design custom bets. The public nature of Twitter data provided a unique opportunity to investigate patterns of bettor preference and the bookmaker profit margin in soccer, the UK’s favorite sport.

Methods

Two multi-method studies. Twitter users’ engagement with request-a-bet services was monitored unobtrusively (n = 1,406), meaning that potential patterns across users’ requests could be observed, and the bookmaker profit margin could be estimated. Twitter users were also surveyed directly (n = 55), providing self-report measures of request-a-bet usage.

Results

Twitter users requested bets with an average potential payoff of £56.5 per £1 risked (median = £9). Overall, 9.7% of requested bets paid-off, but these were mostly bets at short odds. This meant that requests yielded a high bookmaker profit margin of 43.7% (roughly eight times higher than current margins in conventional soccer bets), which increased to 74.6% for bets at longer odds. Requested bets also tended to involve star players from the best teams. Finally, 92.7% of surveyed Twitter users reported placing at least one bet via request-a-bet services (mean = 44.4 bets).

Discussion and conclusions

Researchers can use request-a-bet products to increase their understanding of sports betting behavior. Sports bettors should be given information about how much higher the bookmaker profit margin can be in modern sports bets compared to the conventional sports bets that they may be more familiar with.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

A literature exists on the structural characteristics of electronic gambling machines (EGMs), which are design innovations that can promote spending excessive time and money on these games. Fixed-odds sports betting products, where bettors place sports bets against a bookmaker, have also seen significant innovations in recent years. Despite some differences between these gambling products, similar structural characteristics could also be relevant to sports betting. The aim was to review previous research on contemporary fixed-odds sports betting products, and to identify whether structural characteristics from the EGM literature are also relevant to sports betting.

Methods

Structural characteristics uncovered by two influential reviews of EGMs were identified, and their relevance to fixed-odds sports betting products discussed via a narrative review.

Results

Structural characteristics of payout interval and potential betting frequency (in-play betting), multiplier potential (accumulators, complex bets, multis), win probability and payout ratio (all bets), bettor involvement (custom sports betting products, cash out), skill required (all bets), and near-misses (accumulators, complex bets, multis) were all identified in modern fixed-odds sports betting products.

Discussion and conclusions

Fixed-odds sports betting products have increasingly incorporated structural characteristics previously found in EGMs. Future research could further assess the extent to which these structural characteristics contribute to fixed-odds sports bettors spending excessive amounts of time and money while betting. These findings can help guide further sports betting research, contribute to an improved understanding of the potential universality of gambling product design, and inform policy.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims: The UK allows a number of gambling products to be legally used by people under the age of 18. The aim of this study was to explore associations between recalled legal usage of five youth gambling products and adult disordered gambling. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study of 1,057 adult UK gamblers, aged 18–40. Recalled legal use of five youth gambling products (category D fruit machines, coin push machines, crane grab machines, the National Lottery, and National Lottery scratchcards) was correlated with adult disordered gambling symptoms as measured by the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Results: Recalled rates of legal engagement with each product ranged from 50.9% for Category D fruit machines to 96.6% for coin push machines. For category D fruit machines, the National Lottery, and National Lottery scratchcards, merely having legally engaged with these products as a child was associated with adult disordered gambling. Furthermore, higher levels of recalled legal youth usage with each of the five products was also associated with adult disordered gambling. Discussion and conclusions: These results relate to recent government proposals to increase the National Lottery scratchcard legal age to 18, and add to a wider literature on youth gambling and subsequent gambling-related harm.

Open access