A casino in my pocket: Gratifications associated with obsessive and harmonious passion for mobile gambling

Whelan, Eoin
Laato, Samuli
Islam, A. K. M. Najmul
Billieux, Joël
Whelan, Eoin, Laato, Samuli, Islam, A. K. M. Najmul, & Billieux, Joël. (2021) A casino in my pocket: Gratifications associated with obsessive and harmonious passion for mobile gambling. PLoS ONE 16(2): e0246432.
Mobile gambling differs from land-based and traditional forms of gambling in that the opportunity to place bets and engage with casinos is constantly present and easily accessible. Instead of going to a physical bookmaker or casino, mobile gambling is done quickly and swiftly, anytime, anywhere, with a few taps on a mobile device. Previous studies reveal mobile gambling has managed to reach new audiences especially amongst younger people. Gambling harms can have severe adverse effects on individuals, families and society. However, for a subgroup of highly involved individuals, gambling can be considered a harmonious passion that permits frequent gambling without elevating individual’s risks of experience problem gambling manifestations. Combining the Uses and Gratifications (U&G) and Dualistic Model of Passion (DMP) frameworks, the present study aims to determine if and how the different gratifications sought from mobile gambling are susceptible to explaining non-problematic versus problematic patterns in highly involved gamblers. Data were collected over two waves from a global sample of mobile gamblers (N = 327). Results emphasize that the motivational underpinnings of mobile gambling (as measured by the U&G) differ in obsessive versus harmonious passion. Obsessive passion is associated with poor mood and problematic gambling. In contrast, harmonious passion for mobile gambling is associated with positive mood but is unrelated to problematic gambling. Based on these findings, and given that problematic gambling is an internationally relevant public health issue (the prevalence of problem gambling is estimated to range from 0.1% to 5.8% in different countries), we suggest interventions focusing on specific uses and gratifications associated with an obsessive passion for mobile gambling may be effective in reducing problematic usage patterns.
Public Library of Science
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland