Gambling expenditure by game type among weekly gamblers in Finland
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CitationSalonen, Anne H. Kontto, Jukka. Perhoniemi, Riku. Alho, Hannu. Castren, Sari. (2018). Gambling expenditure by game type among weekly gamblers in Finland. Bmc public health, 18, 697. 10.1186/s12889-018-5613-4.
Excessive expenditure and financial harms are core features of problem gambling. There are various forms of gambling and their nature varies. The aim was to measure gambling expenditure by game type while controlling for demographics and other gambling participation factors. A further aim was to find out how each game type was associated with gambling expenditure when the number of game types played is adjusted for.
Using data from the 2015 Finnish Gambling survey on adult gamblers (n = 3555), multiple log-linear regression was used to examine the effects of demographics, gambling participation, and engaging in different game types on weekly gambling expenditure (WGE) and relative gambling expenditure (RGE).
Male gender, lower education level, higher gambling frequency and higher number of game types increased both WGE and RGE, while younger age decreased WGE but increased RGE. Furthermore, seven specific game types increased both WGE and RGE. Weekly horse race betting and non-monopoly gambling had the strongest increasing effect on expenditure. Betting games and online poker were associated with higher expenditure even when they were played less often than weekly. Among weekly gamblers the highest mean WGE was recorded for those who played non-monopoly games (146.84 €/week), online poker (59.61 €/week), scratch games (51.77 €/week) and horse race betting (48.67 €/week). Those who played only 1–2 game types a week had the highest mean WGE and RGE on horse race betting and other betting games.
It seems that overall gambling frequency is the strongest indicator of high gambling expenditure. Our results showed that different game types had different effect sizes on gambling expenditure. Weekly gambling on horse races and non-monopoly games had the greatest increasing effect on expenditure. However, different game types also varied based on their popularity. The extent of potential harms caused by high expenditure therefore also varies on the population level. Based on our results, future prevention and harm minimization efforts should be tailored to different game types for greater effectiveness.