Is video-game playing a risk factor for pathological gambling in Australian adolescents?

Paul Delfabbro, Daniel King, Chrisi Lambos, Stan Puglies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Very little research has been conducted to examine the relationship between video-game playing and gambling in adolescence. In this study, 2,669 adolescents aged 13-17 years were surveyed to obtained details of their involvement in gambling and video-game playing as well as a measure of pathological gambling (the DSM-IV-J). The results showed that, the frequency of video game playing was significantly related to pathological gambling, but that the effect size was very small and largely accounted for by the greater popularity of both activities amongst boys. There was some evidence for stronger associations between technologically similar activities, namely arcade video games and an interest in gaming machines, but other factors discussed in the paper may also account for this association. In summary, the findings suggested that playing video-games is unlikely to be a significant risk factor for pathological gambling during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-405
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent gambling
  • Pathological gambling
  • Video games


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