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FSD3115 Gambling Survey 2015

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Authors

  • Raisamo, Susanna (National Institute for Health and Welfare. Alcohol, Drugs and Addictions)
  • Salonen, Anne (National Institute for Health and Welfare. Alcohol, Drugs and Addictions)

Keywords

addiction, card games, debts, digital games, family members, friends, gambling, gaming machines, lotteries, social problems, well-being (health)

Abstract

The survey charted Finnish gambling habits, frequency of gambling, amount of money gambled as well as views on problem gambling and gambling policy and regulation. 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.

First perceptions on gambling were studied. 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." 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 next section of the survey focused on the respondents' experiences of gambling. 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 previous 12 months. Other questions charted online gambling in the previous 12 months, gambling websites visited, and frequency of gambling activities. The respondents were asked to estimate the average weekly sum spent on gambling, their largest win in the previous 12 months, and at what age they had gambled for the first time.

The respondents' relationship 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 at gambling even though they were actually losing money, whether they had gambled more than they had intended to, and whether other people had criticised them for gambling. 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 habits from 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.

Regarding gambling by family members, relatives and friends, the respondents were asked whether any people close to them had problems with gambling, what kind of harm these gambling problems had caused, and how much concern the problems had caused the respondents.

The final section pertained to health, well-being and non-gambling games. The respondents were asked to assess their current health status and were asked how often they had felt nervous, calm, despondent and happy in the previous four weeks. Smoking and alcohol use were charted. Finally, the respondents were asked whether they played video games or mobile games, how many hours they had played them in the previous week and month, and whether they felt they might have a problem with these kinds of games.

Background variables included the respondent's age, gender, marital status, region, municipality type, education, monthly net income, economic activity and occupational status as well as the number of underage children.

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