The distinction between gambling and gaming activities has become increasingly blurred. One of the principal causes of this is technological convergence, a term which refers to the growing co-location and inter-relationship between different classes of activities. Some argue that convergence may increase the appeal and accessibility of gambling to susceptible or vulnerable individuals. Studies into the nature and effects of convergence have expanded considerably over the last decade. However, researchers and policymakers have often struggled to keep abreast of the pace of technological development and of the breadth of topics that now emerge within this research area. To address these issues, we present this special issue, which highlights new developments in gambling-gaming convergence research. Important topics include: social casino games, simulated Internet gambling, skill-based gaming machines, gambling mechanisms on Twitch.tv, substance use across gambling and gaming activities, and, the extent to which gaming might act as a potential ‘gateway’ to gambling. A common theme was that new technologies are constantly enabling innovations and changes to gambling opportunities, which can affect some vulnerable users involved in these activities. We outline further research avenues to better understand the impacts of digital gambling technologies and to support appropriate regulatory and public health responses.
- behavioral addiction
- video games