Home > Winning and losing in online gambling: effects on within-session chasing.

Chen, Zhang and Doekemeijer, Roos Arwen and Noël, Xavier and Verbruggen, Frederick (2022) Winning and losing in online gambling: effects on within-session chasing. PLoS ONE, 17, (8), e0273359. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273359.

External website: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.13...

The tendency to continue or intensify gambling after losing (loss-chasing) is widely regarded as a defining feature of gambling disorder. However, loss-chasing in real gambling contexts is multifaceted, and some aspects are better understood than others. Gamblers may chase losses between multiple sessions or within a single session. Furthermore, within a session, loss-chasing can be expressed in the decision of (1) when to stop, (2) how much stake to bet, and (3) the speed of play after winning and losing. Using a large player-tracking data set (>2500 players, >10 million rounds) collected from the online commercial game Mystery Arena, we examined these three behavioral expressions of within-session loss-chasing. While the first two aspects (when to stop and how much stake to bet) have been examined previously, the current research is the first large-scale study to examine the effects of wins and losses on the speed of play in real gambling. The players were additionally assigned different involvement levels by the operator based on their gambling behavior on the operator's own platform, which further allowed us to examine group differences in loss-chasing.

We found that after winning, both the high- and low-involvement groups were less likely to stop, and increased the stake amount, thus showing win-chasing instead of loss-chasing in these two facets. After losing, both groups played more quickly though, which may reflect an urge to continue gambling (as an expression of loss-chasing). Wins and losses had a smaller influence on the speed of play for the high-involvement players, suggesting that they might have reduced sensitivity to wins and/or losses. Future work can further examine chasing in different gambling products and in people with gambling problems to assess the generalizability of these findings.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Behavioural addiction
Intervention Type
Harm reduction, Screening / Assessment
August 2022
Identification #
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273359
Public Library of Science

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