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Abstract  

The application of quantitative high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry for the non-destructive assay of plutonium bearing items, such as waste drums, is complicated by self-attenuation if the plutonium is present as lumps. By definition, lumps are small compared to the bulk matrix and so are not accounted for in the gross matrix correction yet can exert a significant influence on the assay result. Compared to a calibration using dilute standards, self-attenuation results in an under-reporting of the mass of plutonium present. The availability of representative standards is unrealistic for diverse waste streams and so a means to detect and compensate for the presence of lumps is needed. An experimental approach that can in principle generate an item specific correction factor is to exploit the differential attenuation between a set of gamma-lines of known relative emission intensity. In the case of routine measurements of drummed Pu wastes the choice of lines is often limited, the most appropriate often being those at 129 keV and 414 keV from 239Pu. This paper discusses the problems and potential of exploiting this pairing in a simple dual energy approach to the long standing and challenging problem of self-attenuation.

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Abstract  

Nondestructive measurements of γ-ray and X-ray emissions are often made to characterize special nuclear materials. Various computer codes are available to determine the relative isotopic composition of uranium or plutonium (along with certain other associated nuclides) from analysis of the spectra resulting from such measurements. MGA (Gunnink, Proceedings of the 9th ESARDA symposium on safeguards and nuclear management 167, 1987) and MGAU (Gunnink et al., Proceedings of the IAEA symposium on international safeguards 541, 1994) are among the major isotopic codes. The purpose of this study was to investigate MGA and MGAU performance versus energy resolution of the counting system.

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N2 adsorption at 77 K was used to follow the change in the pore structure of silica (mesoporous) produced on heating at 300 and 600‡C in the presence of different contents of mechanically mixed ZnO (15–85 mol%).

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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

Including gaming disorder in the ICD-11: The need to do so from a clinical and public health perspective

Commentary on: A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution (van Rooij et al., 2018)

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Hans-Jürgen Rumpf, Sophia Achab, Joël Billieux, Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Natacha Carragher, Zsolt Demetrovics, Susumu Higuchi, Daniel L. King, Karl Mann, Marc Potenza, John B. Saunders, Max Abbott, Atul Ambekar, Osman Tolga Aricak, Sawitri Assanangkornchai, Norharlina Bahar, Guilherme Borges, Matthias Brand, Elda Mei-Lo Chan, Thomas Chung, Jeff Derevensky, Ahmad El Kashef, Michael Farrell, Naomi A. Fineberg, Claudia Gandin, Douglas A. Gentile, Mark D. Griffiths, Anna E. Goudriaan, Marie Grall-Bronnec, Wei Hao, David C. Hodgins, Patrick Ip, Orsolya Király, Hae Kook Lee, Daria Kuss, Jeroen S. Lemmens, Jiang Long, Olatz Lopez-Fernandez, Satoko Mihara, Nancy M. Petry, Halley M. Pontes, Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar, Florian Rehbein, Jürgen Rehm, Emanuele Scafato, Manoi Sharma, Daniel Spritzer, Dan J. Stein, Philip Tam, Aviv Weinstein, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Klaus Wölfling, Daniele Zullino, and Vladimir Poznyak

The proposed introduction of gaming disorder (GD) in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) has led to a lively debate over the past year. Besides the broad support for the decision in the academic press, a recent publication by van Rooij et al. (2018) repeated the criticism raised against the inclusion of GD in ICD-11 by Aarseth et al. (2017). We argue that this group of researchers fails to recognize the clinical and public health considerations, which support the WHO perspective. It is important to recognize a range of biases that may influence this debate; in particular, the gaming industry may wish to diminish its responsibility by claiming that GD is not a public health problem, a position which maybe supported by arguments from scholars based in media psychology, computer games research, communication science, and related disciplines. However, just as with any other disease or disorder in the ICD-11, the decision whether or not to include GD is based on clinical evidence and public health needs. Therefore, we reiterate our conclusion that including GD reflects the essence of the ICD and will facilitate treatment and prevention for those who need it.

Open access