‘Only take the money you want to lose’ strategies for sticking to limits in electronic gaming machine venues

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Abstract

Government and regulator campaigns typically focus on educating gamblers to minimise harms from gambling, but we know little of the full range of strategies gamblers use to stick to limits. This mixed-methods study sought to understand the strategies utilised, recommended or avoided by gamblers. This study recruited 104 participants from 11 EGM venues in Australia, encompassing both no problem/low risk (65%) and moderate risk/problem gamblers (35%). Participants were administered the 30-item Gambling In-venue Strategies Checklist (GISC) and used an average of 14 different strategies over a 30-day period. Two strategies were frequently used by 90% of gamblers: use only the money brought into the venue and only play low denomination machines. Compared to PGs, low risk/no PGs more frequently avoided chasing losses, set cues to keep track of time, used only the money brought into the venue, planned in advance their spending, and also viewed gambling as entertainment. Qualitative analysis revealed the top strategies for limiting gambling were bring in the exact amount of cash and not taking cards and setting a money limit. The measure developed for this study appears to capture a broad range of strategies used by gamblers when engaging with EGM gambling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-507
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Gambling Studies
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • change strategies
  • Gambling Protective Behaviour Scale
  • Harm reduction
  • player protection
  • recovery
  • responsible gambling
  • self-regulation

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