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Research report

A Profile of Video Lottery Terminal Players

Video lottery terminals (VLT) are now recognized as one of the most attractive and "addictive" types of gambling on the market. And yet, little is known about the characteristics specific to VLT players. What personality and situational variables are associated with problem gambling in this population? Which of these variables can protect from or increase vulnerability to relapse among VLT players receiving outpatient therapy? Can these factors be used to make short- or medium- term predictions of the development of pathological gambling in youth? Our research addressed these questions.

Particular attention should be paid to VLT gambling.

Our results demonstrate that several personality and situational variables differentiate VLT players from other kinds of gamblers. Particular attention should be paid to VLT gambling, given the fact that VLT players are at a higher risk of developing serious gambling problems.

In addition, an obsessive passion for gambling activities contributes to the development of pathological gambling, through negative emotions experienced while gambling. New prevention and intervention strategies could be developed based on this result. Factors protecting against relapse during therapy were also identified: a conscientious personality, a good capacity for resilience, adequate levels of self-control, and competence need satisfaction. Vulnerability factors must also be taken into account: a high level of neurosis and an introjected motivation for therapy. These results could lead to interesting avenues of solution for decision makers and practitioners alike.


Main researcher: Robert J. Vallerand, Université du Québec à Montréal

Original title: Le jeu pathologique chez les joueurs d'AVL et les jeunes (16-20 ans) : Analyses longitudinales et comparatives

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