Submission Type

Lightning Talk

Submission Title

Gamblers’ Perceptions of Stakeholder Responsibility for Minimizing Gambling Harm

Session Title

Session 2-3-F: Lightning Talks

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

29-5-2019 1:45 PM

End Date

29-5-2019 3:10 PM

Disciplines

Public Health

Abstract

Abstract: Increasingly, industry operators and governments espouse the view that they play a role in minimizing gambling harm and have developed and implemented programs and policies designed to promote responsible gambling. However, little is known about gamblers’ perceptions of responsibility for minimizing gambling harm or whether these perceptions are linked to gamblers’ own experience of gambling harm. Gamblers’ perceptions of stakeholder responsibility for minimizing gambling harm could impact not only their gambling behavior but also the potential for legal action following excessive financial loss. We surveyed participants selected from MGM Resorts International (MGM)’s loyalty card database (N = 3,748) regarding their perceptions of responsibility for minimizing gambling harm. Additionally, we administered the Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS). Compared to those who screened negative, participants who screened positive on the BBGS had more diffuse conceptions of responsibility for minimizing gambling harm and were more likely to hold 5 particular stakeholder groups (e.g., MGM Resorts employees, government regulators, public safety officials) responsible. In multivariate analyses, participants’ distributed sense of responsibility for reducing gambling harm predicted their BBGS status over and above other risk factors (i.e., Positive Play, understanding of gambling concepts, use of responsible gambling strategies).

Implications: These results provide a rationale and framework for exploring causal pathways between perceptions of responsibility and gambling problems. If gamblers assume that casinos and other stakeholders will prevent them from experiencing excessive financial loss and other gambling problems, these perceptions might translate into riskier, less controlled gambling behavior.

Keywords

gambling, responsible gambling, harm reduction, responsibility

Author Bio

Dr. Heather Gray is Associate Director of Academic Affairs at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She earned her PhD in social psychology from Harvard University in 2006 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Boston University Health and Disability Research Institute. Since joining the Division in 2008, Dr. Gray has studied the development of, and recovery from, a variety of addictive disorders.

Funding Sources

This work was supported through a subcontract with MGM (contract recipient=UNLV). MGM did not have any involvement in the research itself.

Competing Interests

The Division on Addiction and affiliated faculty have received funding in the past three years from DraftKings, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations via NIH and Indian Health Services (IHS), NIH, the Integrated Centre on Addiction Prevention and Treatment of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, which receives funding from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, National Center for Responsible Gaming, the New Mexico Responsible Gaming Association, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, MGM (through a subcontract with UNLV), and GVC Services, Ltd.

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May 29th, 1:45 PM May 29th, 3:10 PM

Gamblers’ Perceptions of Stakeholder Responsibility for Minimizing Gambling Harm

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Abstract: Increasingly, industry operators and governments espouse the view that they play a role in minimizing gambling harm and have developed and implemented programs and policies designed to promote responsible gambling. However, little is known about gamblers’ perceptions of responsibility for minimizing gambling harm or whether these perceptions are linked to gamblers’ own experience of gambling harm. Gamblers’ perceptions of stakeholder responsibility for minimizing gambling harm could impact not only their gambling behavior but also the potential for legal action following excessive financial loss. We surveyed participants selected from MGM Resorts International (MGM)’s loyalty card database (N = 3,748) regarding their perceptions of responsibility for minimizing gambling harm. Additionally, we administered the Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS). Compared to those who screened negative, participants who screened positive on the BBGS had more diffuse conceptions of responsibility for minimizing gambling harm and were more likely to hold 5 particular stakeholder groups (e.g., MGM Resorts employees, government regulators, public safety officials) responsible. In multivariate analyses, participants’ distributed sense of responsibility for reducing gambling harm predicted their BBGS status over and above other risk factors (i.e., Positive Play, understanding of gambling concepts, use of responsible gambling strategies).

Implications: These results provide a rationale and framework for exploring causal pathways between perceptions of responsibility and gambling problems. If gamblers assume that casinos and other stakeholders will prevent them from experiencing excessive financial loss and other gambling problems, these perceptions might translate into riskier, less controlled gambling behavior.