Citizens’ Perceptions of Gambling Regulation Systems: A New Meaning-Based Approach
Keywords:gambling, gambling policy, public image, regulation, focus group interview, qualitative research, monopoly
This study fills a gap in gambling research by inquiring into the ways in which people make sense of their country’s gambling policy as a comprehensive logic with interrelated facets. Nineteen focus group interviews were conducted with 88 persons in Helsinki, Finland. The interview protocol involved discussion stimuli and tasks. The study participants expressed the view that the public image and function of gambling provision involves a great deal of contradictory elements. Even though the existing monopoly system was given approval in terms of yielding funding to good causes, the interviewees were still critical of how the monopoly system worked when it comes to advertising, availability, and customer loyalty programs. A core dilemma identified was whether the system aims to prevent gambling-related problems or whether it does, in fact, promote gambling consumption. If skilfully executed, the study method can be fruitful for discerning core logical inconsistencies in the gambling regulation systems of other countries as well.
RésuméL’étude comble une lacune dans la recherche sur les jeux de hasard en s’interrogeant sur la manière dont les gens perçoivent la politique de jeu de leur pays en tant que modèle logique complet avec facettes interdépendantes. On a effectué dix-neuf entrevues dans des groupes de discussion regroupant 88 personnes à Helsinki, en Finlande. Le protocole d’entrevue comportait des points de discussion et des tâches. Les participants à l’étude ont exprimé l’opinion voulant que l’image publique et la fonction de l’offre de jeu comprennent beaucoup d’éléments contradictoires. Même si le système de monopole existant avait l’approbation du public en raison du soutien financier apporté à de bonnes causes, les personnes interrogées étaient tout de même critiques à l’égard du monopole et de son fonctionnement en ce qui concerne la publicité, l’offre et les programmes de fidélisation des clients. On a relevé un important dilemme, à savoir si le système visait à prévenir les problèmes de jeu ou s’il favorisait en fait la consommation de jeux. Habilement appliquée, la méthode d’étude peut servir à démontrer les incohérences logiques fondamentales dans les systèmes de réglementation de jeux de hasard d’autres pays également.
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