August 4, 2014
A scholastic primer on problem-gambling research in an Internet age
It’s Responsible Gaming Education Week, August 4-8, you probably know, or maybe not, because “responsible gaming” isn’t exactly something we celebrate in a culture that extols the virtue of being “All In”. And it’s not likely that poker is about to see any special prizes for best bankroll management or superior game selection or, say, excellent investment of tournament winnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
So RGEW is an annual campaign from the National Center for Responsible Gaming, which is the AGA’s officially independent 501c3 that gets $25 million (a year?) from the casino industry to fund academic research in a transparent, peer-reviewed way that tries really hard to not look like Mad Men-era tobacco science.
This year’s theme: “Get to Know Responsible Gaming”. (A sensible revision to 2012’s plausibly oxymoronic “All In for Responsible Gaming”, no?) Anyhow, this new campaign caught my eye in part because I spent the better part of a semester last year doing research about gaming-related media and their connection to irresponsible gambling, particularly among those most vulnerable to manipulative messaging. Have a look if you like at 30+ pages of what is essentially just literature review on:
among Adolescents and Problem Gamblers
It’s riveting, I swear — delightfully long, dry, and unwieldy. I laughed, I cried, but mostly just committed follicular assault on myself while trying to grasp tenets of “academic writing” and APA style. (“Too much personality in your verbs,” my professor balked.)
Hey, it was good enough for a B. And if I learned anything from the process, it was that in a regulated industry there’s far more to the business of responsible gaming than a few glossy brochures in a dusty casino next to the taunting ATMs.