Online technologies are everywhere in our lives.
One of the consequences of this situation is that it is becoming increasingly easy to gamble anywhere, at any time. It should therefore come as no surprise that online gambling has become extremely popular. However, we still know very little about the determinants and consequences of online gambling within the Québec population. Who is at risk of developing online gambling problems? Which variables are the most helpful for understanding and predicting problematic online gambling behaviour, and what are the consequences of problem gambling for male and female gamblers in different age groups?
Problem gambling predicts a number of harmful effects on individuals on both psychological and physical levels.
This research comprised two studies, including a one-year longitudinal study, that sought to provide answers to these questions and that led to the following findings.
First, young adults (aged 18-25) are the most at risk of developing problems with online gambling, in the case of both men and women. Second, an obsessive passion (a feeling of uncontrollable pleasure) toward online gambling and associating negative emotions with gambling (especially guilt) are the best predictors of problem gambling. Third, and finally, problem gambling predicts a number of harmful effects on individuals on both psychological and physical levels.
In light of the harmful consequences of problem online gambling, special attention should be paid to ways in which to better prevent their development.
Robert J. Vallerand, Université du Québec à Montréal
Deposit of the research report: October 2015