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A national survey of online gambling behaviours

  • D. Columb (a1) and C. O’Gara (a2)

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study is to look at an Irish population in relation to the online gambling activities people are engaging with, the reasons for gambling online, their attitudes to online gambling and the financial/mental health consequences of online gambling.

Methods

The outline for this study was adapted from a study by McCormack et al. (2014) in relation to online gambling, with the aim of replicating this study in an Irish population. An online survey consisting of 11 categories related to online gambling was advertised online over a 7-month period. Participants answered on activities gambled online, devices used, duration of time gambling, as well mental health/financial consequences of their gambling.

Results

A total of 208 users participated in the online survey. The most popular gambling activity played was Sports Betting (26.9%) and the most commonly used device was Mobile app (68.6%). The main reason for gambling online was ‘To win money’ (84.6%), the main reason for ending gambling sessions – ‘Had something else to do’ (67.3%) and the most prominent emotion experienced – Excitement (60.6%). There were findings related to the severity of gambling addiction (75% – had to borrow or sell to fund gambling) and their attitudes towards online gambling (strongly agreed – 39.9% – The potential dangers of gambling should be advertised).

Conclusions

Online gamblers in Ireland share similar behavioural profiles to online gamblers in the United Kingdom and worldwide. The majority of participants in this research have been adversely affected from both a mental and financial perspective due to their gambling behaviours.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr C. O’Gara, Addictions Department, St John of Gods Hospital, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, Ireland. (Email: columbd@tcd.ie)

References

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Columb and O’Gara supplementary material
Columb and O’Gara supplementary material 1

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