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Gambling definition

Understanding the psychology of mobile gambling: A behavioural synthesis

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Gambling definition skilful

Postby Yocage В» 10.02.2020

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We propose an account based on associative learning that suggests this form of gambling is likely to show distinctive features compared with other gambling technologies. Smartphones are a rapidly growing platform on which individuals can gamble using specifically designed applications, adapted websites or text messaging.

This review considers how mobile phone use interacts with psychological processes relevant to gambling, the games users are likely to play on smartphones, and the interactions afforded by smartphones. Our interpretation of the evidence is that the schedules of reinforcement found in gambling interact with the ways in which people tend to use smartphones that may expedite the acquisition of maladaptive learned behaviours such as problem gambling.

This account is consistent with existing theories and frameworks of problem gambling and has relevance to other forms of mobile phone use. New technologies have affected the way people work and play, and have also enabled new ways in which people can gamble.

Gambling has the potential to drive changes in consumer behaviour that few forms of entertainment can. As computers entered households in the West during the s, so too did the means to gamble via the Internet. Now, as smartphones become increasingly prevalent amongst the public, so too can gambling be undertaken on mobile phones. Understanding the potential risks that new technologies pose to users is important to guide health care priorities and policymaking.

Identifying the risks associated with these technologies helps anticipate future stressors on practitioners and health care providers and may be instrumental in preventing some of the harm gambling entails by developing effective responsible gambling strategies and interventions for individuals having difficulties with gambling.

This is especially the case as gambling is widely conceptualized as an addictive behaviour American Psychiatric Association, , with approximately 2. The prevalence of problem gambling varies across jurisdictions, depending on factors such as legislative context and methodological differences between gambling prevalence surveys.

The United Kingdom tends to have lower estimates of problem gambling, between 0. Problem gambling has been used in reference to multiple conceptual models in the gambling literature. This review looks at mobile gambling, and whether this emerging platform has distinguishing psychological features that may be particularly risky to gamblers, either a subset of current gamblers or a new population of gamblers.

This review begins by briefly discussing availability and accessibility, two factors that have previously been used to explain why certain technologies might be more harmful, and the criticisms and considerations these entail.

Discussion of the issues concerning these is warranted because of the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices. Models of problem and disordered gambling frequently identify these as the initial stages in explaining how gamblers transition from recreational to disordered gambling. The issues arising from these necessitate consideration of the roles of behaviour and cognition, and how some atypical features of mobile gambling may distinguish this form of play. The review then looks at the role of associative learning and reinforcement schedules in gambling behaviour, and the role of timing.

Gambling is the act of playing a game or taking a risky action for money or a desired outcome e. Gambling has referred to the latter with prizes in lieu of money in jurisdictions where gambling is illegal e.

Mobile gambling includes multiple ways in which gambling can be accessed. This can be via a bespoke app, a website optimized for mobile gambling, gambling over the phone, or via text message. Users can often purchase further plays using a secondary currency obtained within the game or real money. This is because the overwhelming majority c. The principal concern of this review is to consider whether the way in which gamblers interact with gambling on mobile phones is broadly synonymous with other Internet gambling, or whether it has sufficiently distinctive features that might entail different considerations for individuals, practitioners, and policymakers.

A literature exists concerning whether Internet gambling entails a distinctive risk of problem gambling to users. From this, it follows that by making gambling more available, or shifting the landscape of the gambling environment towards games that are easier to access should entail an increase in the prevalence of problem gambling. The first challenges the nature of the association between availability or accessibility and problem gambling.

These circumstances might include the implementation of liberalizing gambling legislation or an increase in the number of opportunities to gamble. They found there was an increase in the prevalence of problem gambling in the short and medium term, but not the long term suggesting support for an adaptation hypothesis where the risk of problem gambling attenuates over time.

More generally, they concluded that the relationship between these environmental factors and problem gambling was related to other social factors rather than a direct relationship.

However, further research has suggested that the ability of gamblers to adapt to changing circumstance depends upon their involvement with gambling. LaPlante, Schumann, LaBrie, and Shaffer found that adaptation differed as a function of involvement, with more involved gamblers showing less adaptation to novel gambling i.

Multiple studies have also looked at the link between geographic proximity of gambling establishments and problem gambling. For example, many individuals with a substance use disorder experience feelings of craving in locations where they previously purchased or used a drug. However, the relationship between availability and Internet gambling is unclear.

The means to gamble i. This is despite several forms of Internet gambling being embedded in the public consciousness e. It has been argued this might be due to the methodological approaches typically used in the Internet gambling literature.

This led them to call for further research using behavioural data from Internet gamblers, of which several analyses have been conducted before and since e. Although problem gambling prevalence is higher amongst gamblers who play on the Internet, it is argued that this might be because these gamblers are seeking as many means to gamble as possible, and so is a consequence of harmful play in a multitude of contexts and environments rather than being caused by Internet gambling.

The third consideration is that is unclear that the structural features of Internet gambling are particularly different from forms of play in a bookmaker or casino, which might explain why the relationship between Internet and problem gambling is mixed. Differences between the two are therefore likely to focus more on contextual factors or the medium on which it is delivered. In summary, it is clear that Internet gamblers are overrepresented amongst problem gamblers and there is a basis to suggest the same might occur with mobile gambling.

What is unclear is why: Is it because the means to do so are highly available, in an environment that is more likely than not to leave gamblers isolated?

This perspective implies problem gamblers diversify the range of games they play in, and Internet gambling is one means amongst many; given the relatively low uptake of Internet gambling, this suggests the risk associated with Internet gambling is not distinctive from other forms of play.

Regardless, while accessibility and involvement are important components in gambling and problem gambling, and the near constant presence of mobile phones suggests this is an important area to consider as mobile gambling grows, it is at present unlikely to provide a more satisfying answer than the present literature on Internet gambling.

It is therefore of greater utility to look at the next stage, the role of behaviour. The random ratio is similar to the variable ratio schedule of reinforcement. This schedule of reinforcement appears to be particularly relevant for certain types of game, such as slot machines, electronic gaming machines and fixed odds betting terminals.

In addition, research in betting has identified the importance of timing in the form of the fixed interval FI schedule. These both produce high levels of arousal that appear to stimulate continued gambling. These have been typically studied in simulated slot machine games as the sequential stopping of slot reels produces strong feelings of anticipation.

The literature investigating smartphone app use has suggested that mobile phone users engage with their device in a manner that may be conductive to the conditioning of habitual or problematic behaviours. Mobile phone users engage with apps in a fairly consistent manner; using a relatively limited range of apps on a very frequent basis.

Most users download apps on a frequent basis although this varies by age Ofcom, , use a moderate range of these on a quarterly basis The Nielsen Company, b , and much more restricted number of these on a regular basis The Nielsen Company, b ; Walker, The way in which these apps are used once downloaded appears to be similar across users.

These checking behaviours generally focussed on a single application, but this was associated with engagement with other apps on their phone, such that users engaged with sequences of apps in a regular fashion. Combined, this suggests that users engage with a small set of apps on a frequent basis, on which users will regularly play for a small period of time many times a day.

One of the central features of mobile app use in general is the role of intermittent periods of engagement with an app. Such a schedule of reinforcement in the context of gambling has the potential for the development of harmful behaviours.

This research has amply demonstrated that longer intermissions between reinforcing events i. It is presently disputed whether this also affects the suppression or extinction of learned behaviours Bouton et al. There is already evidence within the gambling literature to suggest that this prediction is already partially realized; Blaszczynski, Cowley, Anthony, and Hinsley found that craving to gamble increased in line with intersession interval on a simulated slot machine game.

Similarly, James, O'Malley, and Tunney b , in studying the role of inter trial intervals in gambling behaviour, found that perseverative gambling during extinction in a simulated slot machine game was affected by the amount of inter trial interval participants were exposed to; longer intertrial intervals were associated with gambling in the face of continued losses, particularly at lower rates of reinforcement.

The implications of this are clear. Given that associative processes are thought to be instrumental in the development of problem gambling, this suggests that the acquisition of harmful gambling behaviours will be accelerated in mobile gamblers relative to other gamblers. This strongly suggests there is reason to identify mobile gambling as separate from other interactive gambling technologies. This also has important qualifications for many responsible gambling interventions.

It might be the case that further consideration ought to be taken in tailoring responsible gambling strategies, particularly with a technology where typical user behaviour and often especially in the case of video games the developer's intention is to force latencies between uses to extend play. It may be the case that current responsible gambling strategies may be less efficacious with mobile gambling technologies. In addition to the behavioural processes maintaining and reinforcing gambling behaviour, there are mechanisms governing the distribution of responses to different forms of gambling play.

One example of this is the matching law Herrnstein, and its generalization Baum, , which attempts to describe how organisms distribute responding to multiple concurrent ratio or interval schedules. Furthermore, there are some situations such as on multiple line slot machines where the rate of reinforcement can be and is controlled by the player while the rate of return remains the same MacLaren, While evidence on this is sparse, this may be common to a number of different types of betting behaviour, not just pools but accumulator and more standard betting.

Adherence and divergence from the matching law may be one of the factors that separates betting from games of chance. The remainder of this review will outline the context in which mobile gambling is played, focusing on the sensing capabilities of smartphones versus other remote gambling hardware, where mobile gambling is played, the games that are played and the restrictions that are placed on accessing mobile gambling. Smartphones allow a greater range of interactions with the user than other computers.

These can be used to deliver a unique gambling experience over and above other online gambling. Until these more recent generations of smartphone, the graphical and processing limitations of mobile phones meant that the rich gambling environments necessary for some types of gaming were not possible Griffiths, The range of sensors included in most contemporary smartphones alongside more sophisticated hardware offers the possibility of a personalized gambling experience that is more enjoyable and interactive than traditional online offerings.

However, business analysis of the remote gambling market suggested there were gaps in user friendliness and experience that prevented this from being realized Pietkanien, This means that while the mobile gambling experience can differ from online and Internet gambling, this appears to remain a potential difference.

However, it is possible future growth in the mobile gambling market may be driven by applications that take advantage of these, driving further differences between mobile and Internet gambling. Internet gambling is much more constrained in the context in which a device can be used than mobile gambling. This is illustrated when considering the advertisements that are used to promote gambling apps, although rigorous research on the content of gambling advertising in the United Kingdom is relatively limited Binde, Unlike other gambling technologies, mobile gambling allows users to gamble at these locations.

Other literature that has considered mobile gambling has suggested that it may be engaged with as an adjunct to everyday activities, such as travelling or watching television. Griffiths notes that mobile gambling occurs in different contexts to online gambling, and in contexts that are more amenable to gambling, which suggests that mobile gambling might be a more enjoyable experience. Indicators from gambling operators and consultants Ladbrokes, ; Pietkanien, suggest that the operators are finding that while shop and mobile betting do not appear to overlap at present, this does not necessarily appear to be the case between desktop and mobile gambling.

It should be noted that this did include mobile phones, which 2. Another reason why mobile and retail gambling operations may not overlap is the demographic profile of mobile gamblers.

Similarly, Gainsbury, Russell, and Blaszczynski found that university students were more likely to gamble using a smartphone. This has until recently been borne out in the demographic profiles of smartphone owners Ofcom, , but this is now changing.

Mobile gambling has traditionally had a heavier emphasis on sports betting than other forms of gambling Griffiths, However, there is evidence that the mobile market is changing, with the annual reports of major UK gambling operators reporting increased investment in casino style games as mobile technologies allow an aesthetic experience similar to other Internet gambling Ladbrokes, ; William Hill,

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Postby Fenrikazahn В» 10.02.2020

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