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The relationship between problem gambling, excessive gaming, psychological distress and spending on loot boxes in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, and the United States-A cross-national survey

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Drummond, A, Sauer, JD ORCID: 0000-0002-0872-3647, Ferguson, CJ and Hall, LC 2020 , 'The relationship between problem gambling, excessive gaming, psychological distress and spending on loot boxes in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, and the United States-A cross-national survey' , PloS one, vol. 15, no. 3 , pp. 1-16 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0230378.

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Abstract

Loot boxes are digital containers of randomised rewards available in many video games.Due to similarities between some loot boxes and traditional forms of gambling, concernsregarding the relationship between spending on loot boxes in video games and symptomsof problematic gambling have been expressed by policy makers and the general public. Wepresent the first investigation of these concerns in large cross-sectional cross-national samples from three countries (Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, and the United States). A sample of 1,049 participants were recruited through Qualtrics’ Survey Targeting service from abroad cross-section of the population in Australia (n = 339), Aotearoa New Zealand (n =323), and the United States (n = 387). Participants answered a survey assessing problemgambling, problem gaming symptomology, and how much they spent on loot boxes permonth. On average, individuals with problem gambling issues spent approximately $13USD per month more on loot boxes than those with no such symptoms. Loot box spendingwas also associated with both positive and negative moods, albeit with small effect sizes.Analyses showed both interactions and correlations between problematic gambling andproblematic gaming symptoms, indicating both some commonality in the mechanismsunderlying, and independent contributions made by, these proposed diagnostic criteria.These results provide context for dialogues regarding how best to reduce the impacts of lootbox spending among those with problematic gambling symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Drummond, A and Sauer, JD and Ferguson, CJ and Hall, LC
Keywords: loot boxes, gambling, gaming
Journal or Publication Title: PloS one
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0230378
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Drummond et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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