About

Gambling in the Digital Age -research project examines new forms of gambling in the context of the Internet. Additionally, the project investigates the fusion between gambling and digital gaming, and what potential risks are involved in the new forms of gaming and gambling.

Background

Gambling has become increasingly online-based. The Internet and social media have a large and noticeable role in the supply, visibility, and advertising of gambling. Online gambling games are characterized by being fast-paced and continuously accessible through, for example, mobile devices. Online gambling offers users a range of games to choose from and the opportunity to make self-directed decisions. Digitalization has further diversified and expanded gaming opportunities.  Easy accessibility and addicting characteristics of gambling can increase the risk of excessive or problem gambling.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on gambling and gaming markets and consumers. In Finland, all gambling venues and slot machines were closed and shut down due to the pandemic until the end of June of 2020, when they were gradually re-opened. Because of the pandemic and the restrictions involved, people were forced to spend much of their time at home. In this type of an unprecedented situation, online gambling may have become attractive to consumers given its easy accessibility and wide variety. Moreover, during social isolation, the social platforms and interactions offered by games might have become increasingly important. Many online gambling and digital games offer their users a way to socialize, get a sense of achievement, and the possibility to make financial gains.

Goal

Main goal of the Gambling in the Digital Age -project is to investigate the fusion between online gambling and digital gaming, and the risks involved in the new forms of games. Another aim is to examine to increasing role of the Internet in gambling supply and demand, and the gambling habits of Finnish residents. Third aim relates to the investigation of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling and digital gaming that involves using money. The project collects longitudinal data from Finnish adults. The data collected allows for the analyses of current gambling and gaming habits and situation in Finland, as well as the investigation of temporal change in gambling and gaming.

Impact

The project produces new and up-to-date information about the existing state of gambling and digital gaming among Finnish people. It also informs about the risks and harms involved in the new forms of gambling and gaming. The project produces valuable information about the impact of the pandemic on Finnish people’s gambling habits and overall wellbeing.

Gambling in the Digital Age -project continues the research themes carried out in the Problem Gambling and Social Media -research project, funded by the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies in 2017-2019, while expanding the scope of the examination to cover also digital gaming and the fusion between gambling and gaming.

Funding

The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies 2021-2023.