Chasing losses in online poker and casino games: characteristics and game play of Internet gamblers at risk of disordered gambling

Sally M Gainsbury, Niko Suhonen, Jani Saastamoinen
Psychiatry Research 2014 July 30, 217 (3): 220-5
Disordered Internet gambling is a psychological disorder that represents an important public health issue due to the increase in highly available and conveniently accessible Internet gambling sites. Chasing losses is one of the few observable markers of at-risk and problem gambling that may be used to detect early signs of disordered Internet gambling. This study examined loss chasing behaviour in a sample of Internet casino and poker players and the socio-demographic variables, irrational beliefs, and gambling behaviours associated with chasing losses. An online survey was completed by 10,838 Internet gamblers (58% male) from 96 countries. The results showed that Internet casino players had a greater tendency to report chasing losses than poker players and gamblers who reported chasing losses were more likely to hold irrational beliefs about gambling and spend more time and money gambling than those who reported that they were unaffected by previous losses. Gamblers who played for excitement and to win money were more likely to report chasing losses. This study is one of the largest ever studies of Internet gamblers and the results are highly significant as they provide insight into the characteristics and behaviours of gamblers using this mode of access.

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