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Meta-analysis of the relationship between problem gambling, excessive gaming and loot box spending


Garea, SS and Drummond, A and Sauer, JD and Hall, LC and Williams, MA, Meta-analysis of the relationship between problem gambling, excessive gaming and loot box spending, International Gambling Studies pp. 1-20. ISSN 1445-9795 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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This article has been accepted for publication in International gambling studies, published by Taylor & Francis.

DOI: doi:10.1080/14459795.2021.1914705


Loot boxes are purchasable randomised rewards contained in some video games. Concerns have been raised that these share psychological and structural features with traditional forms of gambling, and that they may exacerbate excessive video gameplay. Here, we quantitatively summarise two specific research areas regarding loot box spending using meta-analyses. We examined the relationships between loot box spending and (1) problem gambling (15 studies), and (2) excessive gaming (7 studies). We found significant small-to-moderate positive correlations between loot box spending and gambling symptomology, r = 0.26 (r = 0.37 using Trim and Fill), and excessive gaming, r = 0.25. Our results suggest a small, but replicable and potentially clinically relevant, relationship between gambling symptomology and loot box spending that is at least as large as the relationship between excessive gaming symptoms and loot box spending. Further research should examine the potential for statistical interactions between these constructs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:loot boxes, gaming, gambling, video games, rewards
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Cognition
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Sauer, JD (Associate Professor Jim Sauer)
ID Code:143841
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-04-07
Last Modified:2021-09-06
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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