The aim of this paper was to examine the relationship between social casino gaming and gambling. Australian adults have access to Internet gaming and gambling in multiple forms, including online gambling and were chosen as an appropriate population to examine the impact of social casino games on gambling. The principal research question was whether social casino games influenced users directly to gamble or whether social casino games increase gambling (Rq1), and to investigate the demographic and playing patterns that characterised these affected social casino game users (Rq2). We hypothesised that, for the majority of users, social casino games would have little to no impact on their gambling, but that for a subset of users social casino games would lead to increase gambling and some users would gamble as a direct result of these games (Hp1). A second hypothesis was that migration to or increased gambling as a result of social casino games would be motivated by a desire to make money and a belief that their experience with social casino games had increased their likelihood of winning when gambling (Hp2).
Respondents were recruited through Survey Sampling International (SSI). Inclusion criteria were that respondents were aged 18 years or older, active Internet users and could read and write comprehensible English. SSI randomly selected respondents from large existing panels, invited them to participate in the survey via email (without disclosing the survey topic to avoid response bias) and screened respondents according to age, gender and location quotas that were representative of the Australian population (current at the time of the survey, May–June 2014). Respondents gave informed consent to complete the survey and were aware that they could discontinue at any time. Respondents were compensated a small amount for their participation by SSI. Ethics approval was granted by [anonymised for review] Human Research Ethics Committee.
A total of 1554 adults lsm99 completed a larger survey based on social media use and gambling behaviours. The analyses for this paper were based on 521 of these adults (33.5%), who were classified as social casino game (SCG) users based on self-reported engagement in these games in the previous 12 months.
Age, gender, marital status, household type, highest education qualification, work status, total familyRespondents were asked how frequently they had gambled during the last 12 months. Those who reported having bet on at least one form of gambling within the last 12 months were classified as gamblers and asked to nominate how important each of the following motivations were for gambling: social interaction, to relieve stress/escape from my worries, to pass the time/avoid boredom, to improve my gambling skills, to make money, for excitement/fun, and for the competition/challenge (response options: ‘not at all important’, ‘somewhat important’, ‘very important’)