Dussault, F., Brunelle, N., Kairouz, S., Rousseau, M., Leclerc, D., Tremblay, J., et al. (2017). Transition from playing with simulated gambling games to gambling with real money: a longitudinal study in adolescence. International Gambling Studies, 17(3), 386-400.
Digital technology advances have supported an expansion of gambling activities, which is notable via the advent of simulated gambling games. Simulated gambling reproduces ‘real’ gambling activities, which enables the users to gamble without investing money. According to research evidence, a certain number of adolescents are playing with these games, but until now little has been known about how they could facilitate the migration to gambling with real money. Using a longitudinal design with a one-year interval period, the goal of this study was to assess the potential transition between playing with simulated gambling and the initiation to gambling with real money. The final sample was constituted of 1220 adolescents (age range = 14 to 18 y.o.) who had never played with real money at the first measurement time. At the second measurement time, 28.8% of the participants had gambled for the first time with real money. Logistic regressions revealed that the predictive association between simulated gambling and gambling with real money only holds for adolescents who transitioned from simulated poker to poker with real money. These findings highlight the need for regulation and monitoring on Internet gambling poker sites, as well as further research to assess the mechanisms at work.