An Examination of the Relationship Between Social Casino Gaming and Gambling: The Bad, The Ugly, and The Good
Social casino games (i.e., free-to-play online gambling-themed games) are now ubiquitous on social network platforms such as Facebook. Their popularity and similarity to gambling games has raised concern that, among other things, social casino games will normalize gambling behaviour, which may contribute to gambling participation and to a rise in the rate of disordered gambling (see Gainsbury, Hing, Delfabbro, & King, 2014; Kim, Wohl, Salmon, Gupta, & Derevensky, 2015; Parke, Wardle, Rigbye, & Parke, 2013). Herein, we review theory and research that address potentially bad (migration to gambling) and ugly (increased rate of problem gambling) consequences of social casino gaming. We also outline the limits and boundaries of this presupposition. Specifically, we outline contexts in which social casino games may yield positive consequences when played, including the use of such games as a proxy for gambling among disordered gamblers. Drawing on these discussions, we offer a path model for gambling behaviour that places social casino gaming at its core. Although we, like others, present some pessimism regarding the outcome of social casino game play, this paper points to situations and motivations that may yield positive effects.
Les jeux de casino sociaux (à savoir, les jeux de hasard gratuits en ligne) se retrouvent maintenant sur les plateformes de réseaux sociaux comme Facebook. Leur popularité et leur ressemblance avec les jeux d’argent soulèvent des inquiétudes que les jeux de casino sociaux aient entre autres pour effet de normaliser les comportements de jeu, lesquels peuvent contribuer à une participation aux jeux de hasard et à une augmentation du taux de jeu compulsif (voir Gainsbury, Hing, Delfabbro, et King, 2014; Kim, Wohl, Salmon, Gupta, et Derevensky, 2015; Parke, Wardle, Rigbye, et Parke, 2013). Dans le présent article, nous analyserons la théorie et les travaux de recherche qui traitent des conséquences potentiellement néfastes (engouement pour les jeux d’argent) et horribles (augmentation du taux du jeu compulsif) des jeux de casino sociaux. Nous définissons également les limites de cette affirmation. Plus particulièrement, nous présentons une vue d’ensemble des contextes dans lesquels les jeux de casino sociaux peuvent avoir des conséquences positives lorsqu’on s’y adonne, notamment l’utilisation chez les joueurs pathologiques de ces jeux comme substitut pour les jeux de hasard. En nous inspirant de cette analyse, nous proposons un modèle de cheminement pour les comportements de jeu où les jeux de casino sociaux occupent la place centrale. Bien que nous soyons un peu pessimistes, et nous ne sommes pas les seuls, en ce qui a trait aux répercussions des jeux de casino sociaux, cet article cite des situations et des motivations qui peuvent amener des effets positifs.
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