Browsing by Subject "problem gambling"

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  • Heiskanen, Maria Kristiina (2017)
    The objective of this article is to understand problem gamblers’ experiences of recovery from financial difficulties caused by problem gambling. Specifically, financial social assistance from government-provided services is considered. A sample of 17 semi-structured interviews with Finnish self-identified, treatment-seeking problem gamblers from various financial positions was analyzed qualitatively using thematic content analysis. The analysis revealed four main themes. The first theme is about how the financial concerns of problem gamblers were left unaddressed by treatment professionals. The second theme discusses the rationalizations behind not applying for or not receiving financial social assistance from government-provided services. Not applying for financial social assistance was due to financial stability and pride of surviving independently, and not receiving assistance, despite applying for it, was mostly due to estimated to have adequate disposable incomes. Third theme is about receiving financial social assistance while or after problematic gambling. Participants living on welfare benefits often gambled away their benefits in hopes of increased income. The financial social assistance also supported recovering, lower-income problem gamblers with living expenses or paying for treatment. Fourth, non-governmental and more controlling forms of financial support were financial assistance within private safety nets, support for over-indebtedness from and NGO and some other person/authority taking control over problem gamblers' every day financial matters. The socio-economic background factors are important to address when designing financial and other support for problem gamblers. The results of this study discuss problem gambling as a financial problem and provide useful information for future (survey) studies of the topic.
  • Salonen, Anne H.; Hellman, Matilda; Latvala, Tiina; Castren, Sari (2018)
    Background: This report is an overview of results from the 2016 Finnish Gambling Harms Survey covering the population and clinical perspectives. It summarises the main findings on gambling participation, gambling habits, gambling-related harm, and opinions on gambling advertising. Methods: The population sample (n = 7186) was collected from three regions and the clinical sample (n = 119) in a gambling help clinic. Results: Frequency of gambling in the population sample was characteristically once a week, while in the clinical sample it was daily. Men gambled more often than women only in the population sample. The most common gambling environments were kiosks, grocery stores or supermarkets, and home. The most typical gambling-related harms were financial or emotional/psychological harms; the amount of experienced harm was considerable among the clinical sample. The clinical sample also perceived gambling advertising as obtrusive and as a driving force for gambling. Conclusions: The results of the clinical sample imply that when gambling gets out of hand, the distinctions between gamblers' habits diminish and become more streamlined, focusing on gambling per se - doing it often, and in greater varieties (different game types). There is a heightened need to monitor gambling and gambling-related harm at the population level, especially amongst heavy consumers, in order to understand what type of external factors pertaining to policy and governance may contribute to the shift from recreational to problem gambling.
  • Castren, Sari; Lind, Kalle; Hagfors, Heli; Salonen, Anne H. (2021)
    Aims This study explores the prevalence of being a past-year affected other (AO) of a problem gambler by gender. The aims were to study the amount and type of gambling-related harms (GRHs) for subgroups of AOs and to distinguish GRH profiles for AO subgroups. Methods A total of 7186 adults aged 18 years and over participated in the Gambling Harms Survey evaluating year 2016. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression. Results Of all respondents, 12.9% were defined as past-year AOs (women 13.7%; men 12.1%). The proportion of affected non-family members (ANFs) was 8.4%, and 5.6% were affected family members (AFMs). AFMs were usually women, and ANFs were usually men. Emotional, relationship, and financial harms were the most common types of harm. The odds of experiencing financial harm were highest for the 18- to 34-year-olds (OR 1.82) and for those whose partner/ex-partner had a gambling problem (OR 3.91). Having a parent/step-parent (OR 1.93) and child/stepchild (OR 3.64) increased the odds of experiencing emotional harm, whereas male gender (OR 0.50) and being an ANF (OR 0.58) decreased emotional harm. Relationship harm was evident for partners/ex-partners (OR 1.97-5.07). Conclusions GRH profiles for AO subgroups varied, which emphasizes the need for effective harm minimization strategies for those in need.
  • Hagfors, Heli; Castren, Sari; Salonen, Anne H. (2022)
    Background and aims: The aims were to examine how socio-demographics and gambling behavior relate to both primary and additional gambling motives, and whether the gambling motives change during a one-year-period. Methods: The Finnish Gambling Harms Survey data was used. Gambling motives were measured with a categorical question. Gambling severity was measured using the Problem and Pathological Gambling Measure (PPGM). Using the first-wave data including only past-year gamblers (n = 5,684), five logistic regression models were utilized to explore the associations of gambling motives with socio-demographics and gambling behavior. The stability of gambling motives was assessed with McNemar's test using longitudinal data (n = 2,078). Results: Gambling for positive feeling was associated with younger age, high income, high gambling involvement and at-risk gambling. Monetary motive was associated with female gender, high gambling involvement, online or mixed-mode and at-risk gambling. Supporting worthy causes was associated with older age, monthly and weekly gambling, and land-based gambling. Socializing was associated with younger age and gambling occasionally on land-based venues with multiple game types. Finally, the motive to escape was intensified among 25-34-year-olds, homemakers, and those with high gambling involvement and at-risk or problem gambling. Gambling motives remained relatively stable for one year. Discussion and conclusions: Gender and age profiles varied in different motives. Positive feeling, socializing and escape motive was heightened among younger respondents while supporting worthy causes was heightened among the oldest. Women gambled for money more often than men. Escape motive was associated with problem gambling. Longer follow-up is needed to confirm the longitudinal results.
  • Nikkinen, Janne Tapio (2019)
    Licensing is currently the most popular option among regulators for controlling gambling operations. However, approximately 20% of operators are still public monopolies. Many forms of gambling (especially lotteries) are government operated even in countries with a licensing system. This creates an inherent conflict of interest, given that government is supposed to protect the wellbeing of its citizenry and to reap the benefits of gambling at the same time. At least in the gambling monopoly, however, addressing the unavoidable harm that results from gambling should be a priority. Industry self-regulation and reliance on “responsible gambling” rely too much on individuals to control their own gambling. It is suggested in this contribution that it is possible to provide more comprehensive consumer protection, recognising both the duty of governments to take care of their own citizens and the fact that industry self-regulation is not enough. Precommitment cards have been tested in various contexts, and have shown promise in terms of providing tools for individuals to restrict their own gambling. However, given the known shortcomings such as allowing the use of other cards that are not one’s own, and other venues, it is clear that in themselves they do not guarantee effective prevention. Personal licensing is therefore explored as a move forward in this literature-based discussion. Although the system may be applicable to other contexts, the focus is on the Nordic countries. Given that the underlying justification for gambling monopolies is to control gambling-related harm, in the cases of Finland and Norway licensing could be combined with loyalty cards introduced by monopoly operators. This would provide a feasible alternative to current practices of responsible gambling.
  • Palomäki, Jussi Petteri; Heiskanen, Maria; Castrén, Sari (2022)
    Background and aims: Online interventions for problem gambling are increasingly popular, but not everyone benefits from them. We describe 12 years of real-world data from an online intervention for gambling problems and aim to find out the extent to which depression, alcohol use, and sense of financial control influence the effectiveness of the program. Methods: We analyzed treatment effectiveness and moderators in the Finnish "Peli Poikki" program (2007-2018)-an 8-week cognitive behavioral therapy and follow-up program for problem gambling. Participants were Finnish-speaking adults over 18 years of age (N = 2011, 66.9% males). We measured the self-reported level of problem gambling, depression, alcohol use, and sense of financial control across four treatment phases (baseline, post-treatment, 6-month follow-up, and 12-month follow-up), as well as the presence of gambling debt, psychological and physiological health, years suffered from gambling problems, and demographic variables. Results: Participation grew across years with retention rates of 55%, 30%, and 19% for post-treatment and the two follow-ups, respectively. The average problem gambling scores declined significantly following treatment and remained low throughout the follow-ups. However, this decline (the beneficial treatment effect) was reversed after the follow-ups for those with high depression scores and those who felt they had no control over their finances. Discussion and Conclusions: The Peli Poikki program is a well-functioning online intervention but less effective in the long term for participants with persisting symptoms of depression or without a sense of financial control. More attention is needed to screen and direct people with comorbidities to the appropriate services.
  • Nikkinen, Janne (2014)
    This contribution explores the institutional arrangements of gambling regulation across the globe on the basis of available literature and electronic sources. The aim is twofold: To find out whether there are differences in how gambling operators address the problems that legalized gambling generates, and how profits are allocated to this endeavor (if they are). In many cases it is difficult to ascertain how the funds are used and whether the country-specific data is accurate, even if it is provided by official sources or (government-sanctioned) monopoly operators. For this reason, the work at hand is only a general review, providing indicators on how to proceed from here to ensure the availability of more accurate information in the future. Some actors in this field are not keen to support studies that would show the full scale of gambling-related problems. Industry-sponsored reports of gambling may exaggerate profits, and downplay the negative aspects. Similarly, governments may choose to sponsor studies that portray gambling problems as concerning individuals, not society. The fact that most research institutions and universities rely on public funding or funds obtained from gambling proceeds to finance relevant studies, is likely to influence almost all research efforts.
  • Castren, Sari; Kontto, Jukka; Alho, Hannu; Salonen, Anne H. (2018)
    AimsTo investigate gambling expenditure and its relationship with socio-demographics, health-related correlates and past-year gambling behaviour. DesignCross-sectional population survey. SettingPopulation-based survey in Finland. ParticipantsFinnish people aged 15-74years drawn randomly from the Population Information System. The participants in this study were past-year gamblers with gambling expenditure data available (n = 3251, 1418 women and 1833 men). MeasurementsExpenditure shares, means of weekly gambling expenditure (WGE, Euro) and monthly gambling expenditure as a percentage of net income (MGE/NI, %) were calculated. The correlates used were perceived health, smoking, mental health [Mental Health Inventory (MHI)-5], alcohol use [Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)-C], game types, gambling frequency, gambling mode and gambling severity [South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS)]. FindingsGender (men versus women) was found to be associated significantly with gambling expenditure, with exp = 1.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.29, 1.52 and P ConclusionsIn Finland, male gender is associated significantly with both weekly gambling expenditure and monthly gambling expenditure related to net income. People in Finland with lower incomes contribute proportionally more of their income to gambling compared with middle- and high-income groups.
  • Edgren, Robert; Pörtfors, Pia; Raisamo, Susanna; Castren, Sari (2022)
    Background and aims: Research recognizes the extent of harm experienced by concerned significant others (CSOs) of gamblers. This systematic review's aims are to examine the interventions for CSOs, evaluate potential benefits, and thematically describe treatment processes. The Stress-Strain-Coping-Support model (SSCS) served as the theoretical framework. Methods: Database searches were conducted in: MEDLINE, CINAHL Complete, Web of Science Core Collection, Social Services Abstracts, Applied Social Science Index and Abstracts, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and APA Psyclnfo (between 01/Jan 2011-10/Jun 2021). Other search methods were also utilized. Inclusion criteria: interventions for CSOs with CSO specific outcomes. The Evidence Project Risk of Bias Tool was used for assessment. Results: 19/768 records were included. Nine interventions were utilized: 3 CSO directed, 4 for couples, and 2 low threshold online interventions. A quantitative synthesis (N = 7 studies) of effect size estimates for depression and anxiety measures didn't indicate any intervention to have better outcomes than others. Core themes in the treatment process identified in the qualitative synthesis (N = 7) included: information and understanding, social support, coping skills, communication, and strain. Limitations in the evidence related to sampling, control-conditions and outcome measurements. Discussion and conclusion: Several interventions were identified, yet no specific interventions appeared more beneficial than others. Using the SSCS model, commonalities and differences in intervention content were identified, along with themes that influence treatment processes. The need for tailored interventions is discussed. Future treatment efficacy research should carefully select study designs and outcome measurements.