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FSD2722 Gambling Survey 2011

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Authors

  • National Institute for Health and Welfare

Keywords

addiction, debts, expenditure, family members, friends, gambling, gaming machines, guilt, health, lotteries, social problems, social welfare

Abstract

The survey charted Finnish gambling habits, frequency of gambling, amount of money gambled and views on problem gambling. The term gambling is used here as an umbrella term for lotteries, slot machines, betting, bookmaking, the pools, roulette wheels, and card and dice tables as well as online variations of all of these.

The first section of the survey focused on gambling games in general. The respondents were presented with a list of various games (e.g. lotto games and scratchcards of Veikkaus, the National Lottery of Finland, games of chance in a casino and slot machines of Finland's Slot Machine Association, RAY) and asked whether they had played them during the past 12 months or before. Other questions charted online gambling, the gambling websites visited, frequency of gambling activities, and money and time spent on gambling in the previous 30 days. The respondents were asked to estimate the average weekly sum spent on gambling, the largest win in the previous 12 months, their age and the game played when they gambled for the first time.

The second section covered perceptions on gambling. The respondents were asked whether they thought gambling was a problem in Finland, whether the problems associated with gambling had increased or decreased and if the government monopoly and the age limit of 18 were effective ways of limiting problem gambling. The respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with statements relating to gambling, such as "people should have the right to gamble whenever they want" and "gambling is detrimental to family life."

In the third section, the respondents' Internet use and habits of playing non-gambling games were charted. Questions covered whether they had an Internet connection, how many hours not relating to work they had spent on the Internet in the previous 7 days, whether they played video games and how many hours they had played them in the previous week and month.

The respondents' relation to gambling was examined. They were asked how often they returned another day to try to win back the money they had lost, whether they had claimed to be winning while gambling even though they were actually losing money, whether they had gambled more than they intended to, and whether people had criticised their gambling or told them they had a gambling problem. Some questions explored whether the respondents had felt guilty while gambling, whether they had wanted to stop betting money or gambling but could not do so, and whether they had hidden their gambling from their family members. Some questions covered arguments with the people the respondents lived with over how the respondents handled money and whether those arguments had centred on their gambling.

Other topics included whether the respondents had borrowed from someone and not paid them back as a result of their gambling, whether they had lost time from work or school due to betting or gambling, and whether they had borrowed or acquired money to gamble or to pay gambling debts. Finally, opinions were probed on whether the respondents themselves gambled or had gambled too much, whether they had gambled money borrowed for other purposes and whether they had tried to seek help for gambling addiction. Most of the questions in this section focused on the circumstances in the previous 12 months.

The final section pertained to health and welfare. The respondents were asked to estimate their current status of health and how often they had felt nervous, calm, despondent and happy in the previous four weeks. They were also asked if they had, in the previous 12 months, had periods during which they had been discouraged, sad or depressed, or lost their interest in things that they usually found pleasing. Smoking and alcohol use were charted.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, marital status, number of years studied, monthly net income and employment status.

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