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  • Author: Michael Dieter Egerer x
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And That is Where the Fun Ends – General Practitioners’ Conceptualisation of the Line between Recreational and Problem Gambling

Abstract

AIMS – Problem gambling is normally identified by fixed criteria of harm adapted from those of substance abuse and by focusing on the individual gambler. However, rigid definitions neglect institutional variations of gambling practices within different legislative configurations. This study proposes analysing the line between recreational and problem gambling by focusing on gambling behaviour and looking at the corruption of the defining factors of play (Caillois, 1958) in three different institutional contexts. DESIGN – A stimulated focus-group method (Reception Analytical Group Interview) was applied to seven groups of Finnish and French general practitioners each and three groups of German ones to study the variations of conceptualising the defining factors of play as introduced by Caillois. RESULTS – Corruption of play was distinguished by participants from all three countries as the dividing line between recreational and problem gambling, but cultural variations were found: the French and German GPs emphasised the loss of the exceptionality of gambling, whereas the Finnish GPs highlighted the invasion of the home by online gambling. Furthermore, the Finnish and German participants were more concerned about the use of gambling as an emotional regulator, while French GPs echoed the French medical model in discussing the adrenaline rush of problem gamblers. CONCLUSIONS – Caillois’ defining factors of play can be used to distinguish recreational from problem gambling and to offer a more encompassing definition of problem gambling. The perception of the line between recreational and problem gambling also seems to depend on the institutional and cultural context.

Open access
And that is Where the Fun Ends - General Practitioners' Conceptualisation of the Line Between Recreational and Problem Gambling

Abstract

AIMS - Problem gambling is normally identified by fixed criteria of harm adapted from those of substance abuse and by focusing on the individual gambler. However, rigid definitions neglect institutional variations of gambling practices within different legislative configurations. This study proposes analysing the line between recreational and problem gambling by focusing on gambling behaviour and looking at the corruption of the defining factors of play (Cail-lois, 1958) in three different institutional contexts. DESIGN - A stimulated focus-group method (Reception Analytical Group Interview) was applied to seven groups of Finnish and French general practitioners each and three groups of German ones to study the variations of conceptualising the defining factors of play as introduced by Caillois. RESULTS - Corruption of play was distinguished by participants from all three countries as the dividing line between recreational and problem gambling, but cultural variations were found: the French and German GPs emphasised the loss of the exceptionality of gambling, whereas the Finnish GPs highlighted the invasion of the home by online gambling. Furthermore, the Finnish and German participants were more concerned about the use of gambling as an emotional regulator, while French GPs echoed the French medical model in discussing the adrenaline rush of problem gamblers. CONCLUSIONS - Caillois' defining factors of play can be used to distinguish recreational from problem gambling and to offer a more encompassing definition of problem gambling. The perception of the line between recreational and problem gambling also seems to depend on the institutional and cultural context.

Open access