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- ItemPrevention of problem gambling: Lessons learned from two Alberta programs(National Association for Gambling Studies Inc., 2004) Williams, Robert J.; Connolly, Dennis; Wood, Robert T.; Currie, ShawnThe development of effective problem gambling prevention programs is in its infancy. The present paper discusses results of randomized control trials of two programs that have been implemented in Alberta, Canada. The first is a 10 session program delivered to several classes of university students taking Introductory Statistics. This program focused primarily on teaching the probabilities associated with gambling and included several hands-on demonstrations of typical casino table games. The second is a 5 session program delivered to high school students at several sites in southern Alberta. This program was more comprehensive, containing information and exercises on the nature of gambling and problem gambling, gambling fallacies, gambling odds, decisionmaking, coping skills, and social problem-solving skills. Data concerning gambling attitudes, gambling fallacies and gambling behaviour at 3 and 6-months postintervention are presented. The findings of these studies are somewhat counter-intuitive and have important implications for the design of effective prevention programs.
- ItemProgram findings that inform curriculum development for the prevention of problem gambling(National Association for Gambling Studies (Australia), 2004-05) Williams, Robert J.; Connolly, Dennis; Wood, Robert T.; Currie, Shawn; Davis, R. MeghanThe development of effective problem gambling prevention programs is in its infancy. The present paper discusses results of randomized control trials of two programs that have been implemented in Alberta, Canada. The first is a 10 session program delivered to several classes of university students taking Introductory Statistics. This program focused primarily on teaching the probabilities associated with gambling and included several hands-on demonstrations of typical casino table games. The second is a 5 session program delivered to high school students at several sites in southern Alberta. This program was more comprehensive, containing information and exercises on the nature of gambling and problem gambling, gambling fallacies, gambling odds, decision-making, coping skills, and social problem-solving skills. Data concerning gambling attitudes, gambling fallacies and gambling behaviour at 3 and 6-months post-intervention are presented. The findings of these studies are somewhat counter-intuitive and have important implications for the design of effective prevention programs.
- ItemThe Demographic Sources of Ontario Gaming Revenue(Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, 2004-06-23) Williams, Robert J.; Wood, Robert T.The present study reinvestigated the gaming revenue contributions of Ontario problem gamblers. An attempt was made to exclude out-of-province expenditures as well as revenues from non-Ontario residents. Better methods were used to establish the prevalence rate (better instrument; more exhaustive RDD sampling to achieve a better response rate; adjustments for populations not available for sampling). Improved methodology was used to obtain self-reported net expenditures (prospective 4 week diaries of gambling expenditures; clear, non-biasing questions explaining what is meant by ‘net expenditure’). Various methods were used to establish the validity of these self-reported expenditures, including comparison with actual Ontario gaming revenues collected in this time period.
- ItemThe Proportion of Gaming Revenue Derived from Problem Gamblers: Examining the Issues in a Canadian Context(Blackwell Publishing Limited, 2004-12) Williams, Robert J.; Wood, Robert T.The legitimacy of government-sponsored gambling and its continued expansion depends in part on the impact that gambling has on society and the extent to which gambling revenue is derived from vulnerable individuals. The purpose of the present article is to try to establish a valid estimate of the proportion of gaming revenue derived from problem gamblers in Canada. Using recent secondary data collected in eight Canadian provinces, we estimate this proportion to be 23.1%, compared to a problem gambling prevalence rate of 4.2%. This estimate must be seen as tentative, however, as self-reported expenditures are 2.1 times higher than actual provincial gaming revenues.
- ItemGambling and problem gambling in a sample of university students(Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2006-04) Williams, Robert J.; Connolly, Dennis; Wood, Robert T.; Nowatzki, Nadine R.University students from southern Alberta (n = 585) were administered a questionnaire to assess their gambling behaviour. Seventy-two percent reported gambling in the past 6 months, with the most common types being lotteries and instant win tickets (44%) and games of skill against other people (34%). Most students who gambled spent very little time and money doing so (median time spent = 1.5 hrs; median amount of money spent = $0). While gambling is an innocuous activity for most, a significant minority of students are heavy gamblers who experience adverse consequences from it. Seven and one-half percent of students were classified as problem or pathological gamblers, a rate significantly higher than in the general Alberta adult population. The characteristics that best differentiated problem gamblers from non-problem gamblers were more positive attitudes toward gambling, ethnicity (41% of Asian gamblers were problem gamblers), university major (kinesiology, education, management), superior ability to calculate gambling odds, and older age.
- ItemInternet Gambling: Past, Present and Future(Elsevier, 2007) Wood, Robert T.; Williams, Robert J.In light of continued and rapid expansion, and in light of existing ambiguities and gaps in current knowledge, this chapter seeks to highlight the major trends and issues associated with Internet gambling today. This is not meant to offer a definitive answer to all questions and issues that are emerging from the current state of Internet gambling. Instead, recognizing that much more research is needed in most areas, this chapter merely seeks to highlight crucial domains of knowledge and research on Internet gambling, as well as any resulting implications.
- Item‘How Much Money Do You Spend on Gambling?’ The Comparative Validity of Question Wordings Used to Assess Gambling Expenditure(Routledge, 2007-02) Wood, Robert T.; Williams, Robert J.Gambling expenditure is a commonly asked question in jurisdiction-wide surveys of gambling behaviour and in surveys of household spending. However, the validity of self-reported gambling expenditure is questionable due to the fact that these expenditures usually do not match up with actual gambling revenue. The present study asked about past month gambling expenditure, in 12 different ways, to a random sample of 2424 Ontario adult gamblers. The relative validity of each question format was subsequently established by the correspondence of reported gambling expenditures with actual Ontario gambling revenue, as well as with amounts obtained by prospective diaries. Slight variations in question wording resulted in significant variation in reported expenditure amounts. However, certain question wordings elicited amounts closer to actual revenues and are therefore recommended for use in future surveys.
- ItemProblem Gambling on the Internet: Implications for Internet Gambling Policy in North America(Sage, 2007-06) Wood, Robert T.; Williams, Robert J.Internet gambling is legal in many jurisdictions around the world, and observers predict that it is simply a matter of time before various North American governments, in Canada and the USA, take steps towards legalizing and regulating Internet gambling opportunities. Indeed, the proportion of North America gamblers who choose to gamble on the Internet is increasing at a dramatic rate. Unfortunately, however, relatively little is known about the characteristics of these individuals, or their propensity for problem gambling. Past studies predict that Internet gamblers are especially at risk for developing gambling problems, and that a substantial proportion of them already can be properly classified as problem or pathological gamblers. The present study investigates this issue using data collected from an Internet-based survey administered to 1920 American, Canadian, and International Internet gamblers. Confirming predictions of a relationship between Internet gambling and problem gambling, we find that 42.7% of the Internet gamblers in our sample can be classified as problem gamblers. In light of our findings, and bearing in mind recommendations made by other gambling researchers, we conclude with a discussion of issues and cautions for governments to heed when crafting Internet gambling policies.
- ItemWhy do Internet gamblers prefer online versus land-based venues? Some preliminary findings and implications(Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2007-06) Wood, Robert T.; Williams, Robert J.; Lawton, Paul K.At a time when land-based gambling opportunities are widely available, why might some people choose or prefer to gamble on the Internet? We investigate this question using qualitative and quantitative data collected from an Internet-based survey of 1,920 Internet gamblers. The primary reasons people gave for preferring Internet gambling were (a) the relative convenience, comfort, and ease of Internet gambling; (b) an aversion to the atmosphere and clientele of land-based venues; (c) a preference for the pace and nature of online game-play; and (d) the potential for higher wins and lower overall expenditures when gambling online. Findings suggest that online venues may offer their clientele a range of experiences and benefits that are perceived to be unavailable at land-based venues. The authors recommend research into whether a competitive edge exists between different aspects of the gambling market, including Internet venues versus land-based gambling establishments. Keywords: gambling, Internet, online, electronic, survey, preference, convenience, expenditures
- ItemInternet Gambling: A Comprehensive Review and Synthesis of the Literature(Report prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre, Guelph, Ontario, CANADA., 2007-08-31) Williams, Robert J.; Wood, Robert T.This review is an attempt to comprehensively identify and synthesize the literature concerning Internet gambling.
- ItemThe Proportion of Ontario Gambling Revenue Derived From Problem Gamblers(University of Toronto Press, 2007-09) Williams, Robert J.; Wood, Robert T.The proportion of gambling revenue derived from problem gamblers is an important issue when considering the appropriateness of government-sponsored gambling. Figures obtained from prior research are tentative due to methodological problems and the mismatch between reported expenditures and actual gambling revenue. Using improved methods for assessing the prevalence of problem gambling and self-reported gambling expenditures, the present study estimates that the 4.8% of problem gamblers in Ontario in 2003 accounted for approximately 36% of Ontario gambling revenue. This proportion varied as a function of game type, with a lower proportion for lotteries, instant win tickets, bingo, and raffles and a higher proportion for horse racing and slot machines. Key Words: gambling, problem gambling, government, Ontario, OLG
- ItemDesigning a Longitudinal Cohort Study of Gambling in Alberta: Rationale, Methods, and Challenges(Springer, 2008-12) el-Guebaly, Nady; Casey, David M.; Hodgins, David C.; Smith, Garry J.; Williams, Robert J.; Schopflocher, Donald Peter; Wood, Robert T.Longitudinal research on the determinants of gambling behavior is sparse. This article briefly reviews the previous seventeen longitudinally designed studies, focusing on the methodology for each study. This is followed by a description of our ongoing longitudinal study entitled the Leisure, Lifestyle, & Lifecycle Project (LLLP). Participants for the LLLP were recruited from four locations in Alberta, Canada, including both rural and urban populations. In the LLLP most participants were recruited using random digit dialing (RDD), with 1808 participants from 5 age cohorts at baseline: 13-15, 18-20, 23-25, 43-45, and 63-65. Individuals completed telephone, computer, and face-to-face surveys at baseline, with the data collection occurring between February and October, 2006. At baseline, a wide variety of constructs were measured, including gambling behavior, substance use, psychopathology, intelligence, family environment, and internalizing and externalizing problems. Finally, the conclusions that can be drawn thus far are discussed as well as the plans for three future data collections.
- ItemInternet Gambling: Prevalence, Patterns, Problems, and Policy Options(Final Report prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre; Guelph, Ontario, 2009-01-05) Wood, Robert T.; Williams, Robert J.Beginning in the early to mid-1990s, as Internet access expanded into workplaces and private residences, gamblers in Western societies were introduced to a new realm of gambling opportunities, based on the Internet. Each of the traditional forms of gambling, widely available in land-based venues, soon appeared in electronic format over the Internet, and have since been easily accessible to any person with an Internet connection and means of electronically transferring money. Virtually mediated casino games, slot machines, bingos, lotteries, sports wagering, horse race betting, and skill games are all now readily accessible, with new forms of gambling and new ways of remote gambling (e.g., interactive television) continually being added. While Internet gambling is becoming a more socially acceptable and legally available activity, the expansion of Internet gambling is outpacing peoples' understanding of the phenomenon, as well as outpacing many of the laws that are supposed to regulate gambling activity. Consequently, we find ourselves in a situation where we have insufficient knowledge of online gambling, including the characteristics of gamblers, the dynamics of Internet gambling behavior, the potential link between Internet gambling and problem gambling, and the most appropriate regulatory and legislative stance to take with respect to Internet gambling. In light of persisting ambiguities and gaps in the existing academic and policy literature, the present report comprises one of the most thorough academic examinations of Internet gamblers to date. The first part of the report provides a context for the present investigation by providing a comprehensive review of the history of Internet gambling, the current worldwide situation, regulatory frameworks for Internet gambling in different jurisdictions, and concerns with Internet gambling. The second part of the report discusses results from two surveys. The first survey is a random digit dial (RDD) Telephone Survey of 8,498 Canadian adults conducted from January 2006 to June 2007 ('Canadian Telephone Survey'). The second survey is an online self-administered survey of 12,521 adults, from 105 countries, conducted from June to December 2007 ('International Online Survey'). These surveys collected information about people‟s demographic characteristics, land-based gambling behaviour, Internet gambling behaviour, stock market gambling, attitudes toward gambling, motivations for gambling on the Internet, gambling fallacies, and problem gambling as assessed by the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI). The International Online Survey also served as an intervention, as participants were provided with detailed feedback about their gambling behaviour relative to others, a projection of their yearly expenditures, explanations of why certain beliefs they held were gambling fallacies, their risk for becoming a problem gambler, their current score on the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI), Internet links to treatment resources, and a demonstration of how their predictive ability for random events is no better than chance, and how there is no relationship between their prediction confidence and prediction success.