Major Grants

A Cross-National Investigation of the Convergence of Gambling and Gaming (#88)

Project Approved 2019-20

Dr. David C Hodgins (Co-Principal Investigator)
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary
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Dr. Zsolt Demetrovics (Co-Investigator)
Department of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University Institute of Psychology [Hungary]
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Mr. Hyoun S. Kim (Co-Principal investigator)
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary
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Dr. Hermano Tavares (Co-lnvestigator)
Faculty of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo [Brazil]
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Dr. Sherry Stewart (Co-Investigator)
Department of Psychiatry & Psychology, Dalhousie University
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Dr. Jung-Seok Choi (Co-lnvestigator)
Department of Psychiatry, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center [Seoul, Korea]

Dr. Daniel L. King (Co-Investigator)
Department of Psychology, University of Adelaide [Australia]
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In recent years, the distinction between gambling and gaming is increasingly blurred with the introduction of gambling-like activities (GLAs) embedded within video games (e.g., loot boxes, skins betting, e-sports betting). The few empirical studies that have assessed the convergence of gambling and gaming suggest these GLAs are associated with problem gambling symptoms, yet little else is known regarding this important topic. The proposed program of research is designed to add to our understanding of these GLAs in video games through a multi-disciplinary, cross-national collaboration that will examine: (i) the inter-relationships between GLAs and their relative importance to problem gambling and gaming symptoms, (ii) the participation rates in GLAs between countries, and potential socio-cultural factors that moderate this relationship, (iii) demographic/clinical characteristics, (iv) motivations, and (v) harms associated with GLAs in three different samples of gamers (university, online gaming forums, and crowdsourcing) from Canada, Australia, Korea, Hungary, and Brazil.

Timeframe: January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022; extended to December 31, 2023; extended to December 31, 2025.

We have completed Study 1 (Scoping Review), which was recently accepted and published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Data collection has commenced for Study 2. Currently, we have recruited a total of 831 participants from the following subgroups:

  • AUS: Student (171), Community (250), Forum (0)
  • CAN: Student (0), Community (250), Forum (160)

We aim to complete data collection by Fall of 2023.

We anticipate the project making several important impacts, including guiding future policy and regulation of loot boxes. We anticipate a minimum of 2 additional peer-reviewed publications, We also anticipate in presenting findings of the cross-cultural project at the 2024 AGRI Conference in April of 2024.

Kim, H. S., Leslie, R. D., Stewart, S. H., King, D. L., Demetrovics, Z., Andrade, A. L. M., Choi, J.-S., Tavares, H., Almeida, B., & Hodgins, D. C. (2023). A scoping review of the association between loot boxes, esports, skin betting, and token wagering with gambling and video gaming behaviors. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 12(2), 309-351. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.2023.00013

Targeting Implicit Cognitions in Comprehensive Prevention Programming for Gambling, Alcohol and Cannabis Use (#87)

Project Approved 2019-20

Ms. Gillian Russell, PhD Candidate (Principal Investigator)
Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge
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Dr. Marvin Krank (Co-principal Investigator)
Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, UBC Okanagan Campus
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Dr. Robert J. Williams (Co-principal Investigator)
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge
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This project looks to expand on traditional prevention programming by including manipulations that target implicit cognitions. By integrating methods that influence implicit processes, we look to create prevention programming that may be automatically be activated by environmental and situational factors without the need for conscious recollection.

Timeframe: January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022; extended to December 31, 2023

Access to the sample has continued to be restricted following the pandemic and shifts in the administration and teaching staff. Study materials are still prepared and ready to be administered to the sample. Similar issues are occurring in neighboring school districts for other prevention programs as well so movement to nearby districts does not seem possible. The researchers are hoping that the grant may be offered another extension of one year to account for this issue so that we may still gather data and perform manipulations over a period of three-years, with the grant period instead ending on June 30, 2026. We are also seeking permission to explore the movement of data collection from Vernon, BC to Pennsylvania. Ms. Russell is currently an Assistant Research Professor at Penn State and has contacts that may be able to provide access to schools as early as Fall 2023 (this has not been fully confirmed, pending funding decision and timeline with school – this may not occur until 2024 spring).

This project has produced no impact at this time due to the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.