Critical Gambling Studies <p><em>Critical Gambling Studies</em> is an open access, double-blind peer-reviewed journal published bi-annually. We welcome original research and writing from researchers working in established disciplines including: philosophy, psychology, anthropology, sociology, politics, criminology aesthetics, history, economics, literature, theology, art history and architecture, tourism and leisure studies, public health and law. We are also keen to consider interdisciplinary approaches to gambling research within an activist tradition.&nbsp;</p> University of Alberta Library en-US Critical Gambling Studies 2563-190X <p>Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to <em>Critical Gambling Studies</em>.</p> <p> </p> Editorial: What are Critical Gambling Studies? <p>Editorial for the special issue 'What are Critical Gambling Studies?'</p> Fiona Nicoll Kate Bedford Angela Rintoul Charles Livingstone Emma Casey Copyright (c) 2022 Fiona Nicoll, Kate Bedford, Angela Rintoul, Charles Livingstone, Emma Casey 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 i v 10.29173/cgs135 Book Review: Kasey Henricks and David G Embrick. (2020). State Looteries: Historical Continuity, Rearticulations of Racism and American Taxation. Routledge. 220 pp. ISBN 9780367596170 <p>Book review of Kasey Henricks and David G Embrick. (2020). <em>State Looteries: Historical Continuity, Rearticulations of Racism and American Taxation. </em>Routledge. 220 pp. ISBN 9780367596170</p> Fiona Nicoll Copyright (c) 2022 Fiona Nicoll 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 121 124 10.29173/cgs133 Pocket Queens <p>Approaches from the humanities that understand poker as a culture (rather than as a gambling pathology or an isolated gaming activity) can help to highlight the voices and stories of women and connect them to feminist and gender research. Stories by individual women who may or may not be feminists can be most usefully described as “perifeminist,” a description of the strategies to cope with sexism that do not necessarily involve either confrontation or negation. Understanding women’s poker stories within this framework can bring depth and breadth to the representation of female poker players in popular journalism, which generally characterizes female players as objects or accessories for male players. In this article, I analyze the gender politics of memoirs by Annie Duke and Victoria Coren, prominent female players whose texts are widely read, because these memoirs are a good place to look for perifeminist strategies and a sense of what being part of poker culture involves for women. Looking for and noticing the stories of female players and contextualizing them as part of the everyday experiences of gender politics can do much to make the lives of poker playing women more visible, and worthy of critical attention.</p> Julie Rak Copyright (c) 2022 Julie Rak 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 1 11 10.29173/cgs103 Gambling Ain’t What It Used To Be: The Instrumentalization of Gambling and Late Modern Culture <p>This article addresses significant cultural macro-processes shaping legalized gambling as a mass consumer market, which also serve various state and private industry ends. The processes examined here are “instrumentalization” and rationalization, explored through the seminal formulations of Max Weber and developed further in the work of Jurgen Habermas. Instrumentalization relates to Weber’s concepts of rationalization and instrumental rationality, as well as to Habermas’s distinction between the “system” and “lifeworld”. While the phenomenon of instrumentalization is approached largely from a macro-perspective, it is understood to have effects on the lifeworld, on social action, and the formation of (gambling) subjectivities. The discussion of instrumentalization and rationalization, as broad cultural processes, contributes to the genealogy of gambling in (late) modern culture. It also serves to develop a particular theoretical trajectory within critical gambling studies and indicates themes that could be opened up for further analysis.</p> Jim Cosgrave Copyright (c) 2022 James Cosgrave 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 12 23 10.29173/cgs81 Parliamentary Debates on Gambling Policies as Political Action <p>The aims of this paper are twofold: first, to demonstrate the importance and relevance of interpretive political analysis to gambling research and second, to analyze from the aforementioned perspective why politicians in Finland talk about gambling harm and gambling revenue the way they do. The speeches of the representatives in the Parliament of Finland during debates on gambling policy are analysed as political action. The analysis has three levels. The first focuses on the themes of the speeches. The results show that there are four distinct thematic dimensions in the speeches: gambling harm, revenue, regulatory system, and regulation. The second level of analysis establishes the contexts where certain themes typically occur. Typically, revenue is discussed in the context of the economic aspect of gambling while gambling harm is discussed in the context of the justification of the regulatory system. The third level of analysis explains why the themes occur in the contexts they do. The representatives´ acceptance of the self-evidence of the regulatory system forecloses any possibility of getting support for major changes to the system. This explains why the official policy aims of reducing and preventing gambling harm have not been realized. It is concluded that the approach introduced can help to understand the political aspects of gambling.</p> Jani Selin Copyright (c) 2022 Jani Selin 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 24 34 10.29173/cgs85 A Critical Review of the Scholarly Discourse on Gambling Disorder Treatment <p>This article presents a comprehensive review of the scholarly discourse on psychological and relational approaches to gambling disorder treatment. The article focuses on the “what” of knowledge production and treatment delivery by systematizing information on the types of scholarly articles that have been published in the English language; the treatment approaches that have been researched and discussed in the Anglophone literature; and the context of knowledge production over the past 50 years. The review includes 445 articles that present the findings of case studies and evaluations of disordered gambling interventions (<em>k</em> = 231), descriptive research (<em>k</em> = 49), meta-analyses (<em>k</em> = 10), and literature reviews and descriptions of novel approaches (<em>k</em> = 155). The findings show that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), together with its constituent approaches, was the most discussed and researched approach to gambling disorder treatment in the period between late 1960s and the first half of 2019, covered by about 60% of the articles. Motivational Interviewing approaches were discussed in over one-fifth of the articles, whereas psychoanalytic and psychodynamic approaches accounted for under 10% of the articles. Roughly three-quarters of articles included in the review were published in North American and international journals. Our discussion situates these trends in critical discourses of the medicalization of mental health, dominance of Western mental health frameworks, and the politics of knowledge production.</p> Jeffrey Christensen Teresa McDowell Iva Kosutic Copyright (c) 2022 Jeffrey Christensen, Teresa McDowell, Iva Kosutic 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 35 46 10.29173/cgs96 A Critical Review of the Scholarly Discourse on Gambling Disorder Treatment <p>This article presents a critical systematic review of the literature on disordered gambling treatment, with a focus on the “how” of treatment delivery. A review of six peer-reviewed research databases was performed, along with hand searches of select journals. Peer-reviewed articles that discussed or evaluated psychological and relational treatments of gambling disorder were selected for a review and coded independently by all members of the research team. The sample for this study included 445 articles that were published in the English language over the past 50 years, through June 2019. The sample included not only evaluations and case studies (<em>k</em> = 231) but also descriptive research (<em>k</em> = 49), meta-analyses (<em>k</em> = 10), and literature reviews (<em>k</em> = 155). The results showed that face-to-face, professionally facilitated treatment of individuals has remained the primary focus of problem gambling literature during the period under study. That said, a number of alternative treatment modalities have emerged, particularly in the last two decades. This includes increased reliance on technology (i.e., internet and telephone/text) as an adjunct to face-to-face treatment or as a means for delivering stand-alone professionally facilitated or self-directed interventions. Our discussion includes the benefits of these approaches as reflected in the literature while also situating findings within discourses on Western-dominated trends toward the use of technology, prioritization of efficiency, and individual focus in mental health treatment.</p> Iva Kosutic Jeffrey Christensen Teresa McDowell Copyright (c) 2022 Iva Kosutic, Jeffrey Christensen, Teresa McDowell 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 47 57 10.29173/cgs97 Social Representations of Responsibility in Gambling among Young Adult Gamblers: Control Yourself, Know the Rules, do not become Addicted, and Enjoy the Game... <p>The responsible gambling approach is the subject of significant debate in the scientific community due to its tendency to individualize responsibility, focusing heavily on the gambler’s responsibility for gambling-related harm. Despite the gambler, and their responsibility, being the focus of responsible gambling discourse, their voices and perspectives remain largely absent. This study aims to address this limitation by documenting the social representations of the concept of responsibility held by gamblers themselves. How does the gambler perceive the concept of responsibility? Do they have an individual-centred understanding of this concept or are they able to distinguish their individual responsibility from that of the other stakeholders? This qualitative research is based on semi-structured interviews with 30 young adults (aged between 18 and 30 years old) who participated in gambling activities in the year preceding the research interview (2018). The results reveal that the social representations of responsibility held by gamblers fit into five categories: self control, knowing the rules and making the right decision, enjoying the game, not becoming an addict, and preventing harms related to gambling. All of these categories were found to be rooted in an individual perspective of responsibility. These results are discussed in light of the process of constructing the social representations of responsibility within the responsible gambling approach and in a neoliberal context.</p> Annie-Claude Savard Mélina Bouffard Jean-Philippe Laforge Sylvia Kairouz Copyright (c) 2022 Annie-Claude Savard, Mélina Bouffard, Jean-Philippe Laforge, Sylvia Kairouz 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 58 70 10.29173/cgs88 Social Costs of Gambling Harm in Italy <p>The aim of this study is to provide an estimate of the social costs of gambling in Italy. In line with other research on social costs, the present study estimates the consequences of gambling harm on public finances, focusing on the estimated costs to treat high-risk gamblers, costs associated with productivity losses, costs of unemployment, personal and family costs, crime and legal costs. We used two different approaches to calculate these costs. The first approach, used for health care costs, consists of using the lump sum spent to prevent the harm caused to high-risk gamblers. The second approach involves estimating the number of high-risk gamblers causing the cost, which is then multiplied with the average unit cost per person. Our estimates of the annual social costs of gambling in Italy – more than EUR 2.3 billion – demonstrate a substantial economic burden to society. However, the costs are a substantial underestimate, as they are limited to those of a public nature and do not take into consideration those costs borne by moderate and low-risk gamblers, as well as affected others.</p> Fabio Lucchini Simona Lorena Comi Copyright (c) 2022 Fabio Lucchini, Simona Lorena Comi 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 71 82 10.29173/cgs50 The Zone and the Shame: Narratives of Gambling Problems in Japan <p>Japan has one of the highest rates of severe gambling problems in the world. However, the gambling forms that cause the most harm—pachinko and pachislot—are not recognized as gambling in the key legislation. They are understood as entertainment. On the basis of two group interviews with those who have experienced problems with gambling, this study explores how they have dealt with the shame, guilt, and stigma of pachinko-related gambling problems. The narrative analysis shows that the participants carry self-stigma as a result of self-reproach and others’ condemnation of their behavior. Feelings of shame, guilt, and fear of being stigmatized have distinctly hindered the process of seeking help. The participants describe how their gambling, which they had attempted to limit, had led to isolation from normal life. The isolation and the failures to control the gambling increased their feelings of shame and destructive behavior. Considering the characteristics of the zone, the loss of self, and the shame, guilt and stigma of failing to control excessive pachinko gambling, it is unreasonable to place the main responsibility on the individual gambler. To reduce gambling harms in Japan and the stigma associated with pachinko and pachislot problems, these gambling forms need to be acknowledged as public health concerns and categorized as gambling in the legislation.</p> Eva Samuelsson Jukka Törrönen Chiyoung Hwang Naoko Takiguchi Copyright (c) 2022 Eva Samuelsson, Jukka Törrönen, Chiyoung Hwang , Naoko Takiguchi 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 83 95 10.29173/cgs112 Commercial Gambling and the Surplus for Society <p><u>Background</u>: Gambling is an important source of public revenue in many countries. Little is known about how this revenue is generated, and how it depends on product portfolios, operating costs, turnover, and the institutional contexts of the industry. <br /><br /><u>Methods:</u> A comparative analysis of income statements from 30 European gambling companies is reported. Scatter diagrams are used to describe how the surplus depends on volume, operating costs, monopoly status, and the game portfolio measured by aggregate return-to-players (RTP). Company profiles are used to interpret the results.</p> <p><u>Hypotheses: </u> Commercialization increases aggregate return to players. This is likely to lower the surplus. Low operating costs of automated and fast games compensate for this loss. Commercial companies produce less surplus than monopolies.</p> <p><u>Results:</u> The surplus is a linear function of the total revenue. Excluding three big companies, total volume is positively associated with the average return percentages but not proportionately with operating costs. The difference between monopolistic and market-based companies does not appear to be significant. Detailed descriptive analysis shows that the European gambling market may be facing a situation of supply saturation where further growth of gambling proceeds for good causes can no longer be accomplished.</p> Pekka Sulkunen Sebastien Berret Virve Marionneau Janne Nikkinen Copyright (c) 2022 Pekka Sulkunen, Sebastien Berret, Virve Marionneau, Janne Nikkinen 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 96 109 10.29173/cgs92 Evolving Understandings of Bingo in Four Decades of Literature: From Eyes Down to New Vistas <p>Bingo is a distinct, enduring but understudied form of gambling. It provides comfort and pleasure to many of its players while also causing harm to some. While traditionally seen as low harm, it is being reshaped by technological and regulatory change. Despite this, there is no recent overview of the literature on bingo. This narrative review seeks to fill this gap by exploring the development of literature on bingo since the 1980s, first providing a chronological overview of writing on bingo and then a brief account of major themes in the literature. The literature reviewed was primarily identified through searches of academic databases using search terms such as betting, bingo, electronic and gambling. We find that bingo research makes a number of important contributions: it allows better understanding of groups of overlooked gamblers, corrects biases in gambling literature, highlights the importance of social and structural factors in understanding gambling and employs methodological approaches that are congruent with the people and practices being studied.&nbsp; Additionally, it provides new perspectives on gambling in terms of skill, affect, harm and control and offers a distinct viewpoint to analyse gambling and other phenomena.</p> Kathleen Maltzahn John Cox Sarah MacLean Mary Whiteside Helen Lee Copyright (c) 2022 Kathleen Maltzahn, John Cox, Sarah MacLean, Mary Whiteside, Helen Lee 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 3 1 110 120 10.29173/cgs89