Motives for playing social casino games and the transition from gaming to gambling (or vice versa): social casino game play as harm reduction?
Keywords:social casino gaming, motives, transition from gaming to gambling, harm reduction
Social casino games (i.e., online, free to play casino-like games) share many similar visual, auditory and structural game mechanics as gambling games. Given the similarities between the two activities, it is not uncommon for people to migrate from social casino gaming to gambling or vice versa. In the current work, we investigated whether motives for playing social casino games may play a role in the transition from gaming to gambling. We also assessed whether motives for playing social casino games as a way to reduce gambling cravings was predictive of self-reported changes in gambling behaviour 30 days later and whether this relationship was dependent on the activity first played. In a community sample of people who gamble and play social casino games (N=228), those who played social casino games before beginning to gamble were more likely to report playing social casino games for social motives, or as a way to reduce gambling-related cravings, than people who gambled before playing social casino games. Additionally, we found that using social casino games as a tool to moderate gambling cravings was associated with self-reported decreases in gambling behaviour one-month later, but only among those who played social casino games before beginning to gamble. Results suggest that what game was played first (social casino games or gambling games) matters, especially for the clinical utility of social casino games as a harm reduction strategy.
Les jeux de casino sociaux (qui sont offerts gratuitement en ligne) partagent avec les jeux de hasard un grand nombre de caractéristiques visuelles, auditives et structurelles définissant la mécanique de jeu. Vu les ressemblances entre ces deux types de jeux, il n’est pas inhabituel pour les joueurs de passer de l’un à l’autre et inversement. Nous avons cherché à savoir trois choses : premièrement, si les raisons qui motivent la pratique des jeux de casino sociaux influent sur la transition vers les jeux de hasard; deuxièmement, si ces motivations peuvent, en tant que moyen de réduire l’envie de jouer, être un prédicteur de changements de comportement au bout de 30 jours; et troisièmement, si ce lien dépend de l’activité adoptée en premier. Notre échantillon recruté dans la collectivité comptait des adeptes des deux types de jeux (N=228). Ceux qui s’adonnaient aux jeux de casino avant d’adopter les jeux de hasard ont été plus nombreux que ceux qui avaient fait l’inverse à évoquer des motivations sociales ou la recherche d’un moyen de tempérer leur envie de jouer. Le recours aux jeux de casino dans un but de modération est associé à une diminution de la fréquence de jeu un mois plus tard, mais seulement chez les personnes qui s’adonnaient aux jeux de casino avant de passer aux jeux de hasard. Selon nos résultats, l’activité pratiquée en premier joue bel et bien un rôle, en particulier en ce qui touche l’utilité des jeux de casino sociaux en tant que stratégie de réduction des risques.
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