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The University of Guelph Posts Findings from New Gambling Research

Most recently, the University of Guelph has published its newest gambling research, which can be found in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors journal. This latest research suggests that many gamblers break their own limits on stressful days when there are other temptations. The new funding also applies to those who believe they have high self-discipline.

In the study, the three experts examine the factors that impact self-control as it applies to breaking gambling limits. This is important as recently it was found that 76% of Canadians gamble. The research questioned bettors who claimed that they have gambled at least once a week and who have set goals of limiting their gambling activity via time and money restraint tools.

Limits Work Only for Some

The research’s led author Dr. Sunghwan Yi, who is a professor at the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, said that limits can be effective for some bettors and that the approach is often used to minimize harm. But he said that experts do not know when limit-setting strategies are effective, or the reasons why some gamblers fail to comply with gambling limits.

Mr. Yi’s team surveyed 103 regulator bettors and asked them to write daily in diaries about their gambling habits for two weeks. They recorded how much stress and temptation they encountered during the day. Results have shown that self-imposed gambling limits were often breached. Almost 23% of the gambling days with limits set, gamblers broke their own limits.

But the study notes that losses were significantly higher on days when gamblers violated their limits in comparison to days when they kept gambling to a set constraint or had no limits. The researchers concluded that stress and past attempts to deal with temptations in non-gambling domains would be important aspects when players break their own limits.

Additionally, from the diaries, the experts discovered that gamblers who have written that they had to resist temptations throughout the day, such as drugs, alcohol, smoking or food temptations, were more likely to trespass their own limits. One of the notions is that attempts to resist temptations put gamblers in negative moods which can increase their desire to use gambling to turn it around.

Other Findings on the Matter

Earlier this year, Statistics Canada published a concerning research which discovered that more than 300,000 residents of the country are at severe or moderate risk of developing gambling-related problems. It was noted that after 2018 advancements in the local gambling industry could lead to an even higher percentage of problem gambling in the country.

One of the changes to the industry in Canada is the legalization of single-event wagering and the opening of online sports betting in Ontario. That is why some addiction experts have started to worry that the availability and the overflow of sports betting ads, can turn out to be harmful to gamblers who already experience problems with their gambling habits.

Source: “Gamblers Often Break Own Limits on Stressful Days, U of G Research Finds”, University of Guelph News, November 2022