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“It was terrible. I didn’t set a limit”: Proximal and Distal Prevention Strategies for Reducing the Risk of a Bust in Gambling Venues

journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2019, 00:00 authored by Simone RoddaSimone Rodda, K L Bagot, V Manning, D I Lubman
Although most gamblers set limits on their gambling and stick to them most of the time, there are times when limits are breached (a ‘bust’). Little is known about the prevalence, reasons for and strategies to address busts despite associated harms with a single bust. This mixed methods study used an online survey with a sample of electronic gaming machine gamblers. A total of 104 gamblers were recruited from 11 Australian gambling venues and almost half (45%) reported a bust in the past 12 months. The amount of money spent on the bust ranged from $20 to $1500 AUD (M = $446, SD = $402). The presence of a bust was positively associated with the amount of money spent in the past 30 days, and self-reported greater gambling related harms and greater gambling severity. Reasons for busts included both distal (pre-venue) factors (i.e., negative affect, lapse in intentions to set a limit, needing to win money) and proximal (inside venue) factors (i.e., chasing losses, wins or spins, social facilitation and losing money too quickly). Bust-prevention strategies identified by participants were both distal (e.g., avoid gambling altogether, leave cards or cash at home, set a time or money limit) and proximal (e.g., walk away when losing and change the manner of gambling). As busts are relative to a priori limits, gamblers at any level of gambling severity can experience a bust. Repeated busts may be an indicator of loss of control and a progression towards problem gambling. Interventions need to focus on factors that mitigate the risk of a bust (e.g., pre-commitment) and that assist gamblers to stick to their limits all of the time.

History

Journal

Journal of Gambling Studies

Volume

35

Issue

4

Pagination

1407 - 1421

ISSN

1050-5350

eISSN

1573-3602

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature