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

Due to COVID-19, there has been a slight delay in the timelines of the project. Given the
cancellation of the 2020 AGRI Conference, the research team was not able to meet in person to
discuss the logistics of the research project. Having said that, we are pleased to report that the
research team has been in communication and the project is progressing well and on track.
Specifically, we have started Study 1 of the project and are engaged in a scoping review to
identify relevant papers on gambling-like activities. Our search strategy yielded 1000+ papers
and anticipate ~25 studies to be included in the review. We are also in the midst of organizing
the cross-cultural data collection and have begun working through the logistics. We are also in
the midst of hiring personnel to assist with Study 2 and Study 3, including with the translation of
measures. In this regard, we are pleased to report that Dr. Andre Monezi from Pontificia
Universidade Catolica de Campinas in Brazil has agreed to join the project. Dr. Monezi has
extensive experience in recruiting students and community samples in Brazil with sample sizes
often in the 15,000+ range.

We anticipate the project making several important impacts, including guiding future policy and
regulation of loot boxes. We anticipate a minimum of 3 peer-reviewed publications, although we
anticipate the number being closer to 5 in high impact journals in the field of addictions. The
project has also had a positive impact on fostering new connections, including with Dr. Monezi.

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

Unfortunately to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our research was put on pause for 2020.
Study materials are prepared and ready to be administered to the sample, however access to
the sample was restricted beginning in March 2020 and access was not reinstated until early
2021 for health and safety reasons. The researchers are hoping that the grant may be offered
an extension of one year to account for this issue so that we may still gather data over a period
of three-years, with the grant period instead ending on December 31, 2023. Additionally,
researchers have yet to use any of the research funds at the present time.

As we had been unable to collect data during the reporting period, there has been no impact by
the project at the present time.