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FSD3261 Gambling Harm Survey 2016

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Authors

  • Salonen, Anne (National Institute for Health and Welfare. Tobacco, Gambling and Addiction)

Keywords

academic achievement, addiction, advertising, gambling, gaming machines, internet, interpersonal relations, marketing, monopolies, social problems

Abstract

Statistics Finland conducted the Gambling Harm Survey in early 2017 as a mixed-mode internet/mail survey. The study was commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The study aimed to chart Finnish gambling habits, social and healthcare-related problems caused by gambling, and opinions on the visibility of advertising and marketing by Finnish gambling organisations.

In 2016, three gambling operators had exclusive rights to provide gambling services in Finland: Finland's Slot Machine Association RAY (government-owned), Veikkaus (government-owned) and Fintoto. These three were merged into a single government-owned organisation in 2017. First, the respondents were asked what the reasoning was for a government-owned and government-regulated gambling market (e.g. securing gambling profits for the state; supporting Finnish art, science, sports, and social services; reducing the harm caused by gambling; preventing foreign competition). Their opinions on marketing and advertising by these organisations were examined with questions regarding, for example, how often the respondents had seen gambling advertisements on billboards, television, the internet etc.

Gambling habits were examined with questions regarding the frequency of playing games of chance, such as lotteries or horse betting, and reasons for playing them. The study also surveyed if the respondents found gambling a problem, how often they had felt in 2016 that it was a problem, and if they were familiar with or had used different services provided by RAY, Veikkaus and Fintoto for helping control gambling. The amount of money the respondents had used for gambling in 2016 per week, per month and during the whole year was also surveyed, as well as in what sort of environments they played these games (e.g. at home, at work, in kiosks, at Casino Helsinki) and with whom (alone, with an acquaintance / a group of acquaintances, or with an unknown person / a group of unknown persons). It was also surveyed if the respondents gambled on the internet and whether they used a PC or a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet computer, for online gambling.

Next, the Problem and Pathological Gambling Measure (PPGM) was used to evaluate the respondents' gambling habits. They were also asked about harm caused by gambling on their lives in general as well as relating to their economical situation, work or studies, health, emotional well-being and relationships. Other possible types of harm on the respondents' lives were also surveyed.

Finally, the respondents were asked if their social circle in 2016 included persons who, in their opinion, gambled too much. It was queried who these persons were in relation to the respondents and what sort of problems these persons' gambling had caused for the respondent.

Background variables included gender, education level, net income (categorised), economic activity and occupational status, age group and NUTS3 region.

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