Un estudio observacional no participante sobre el uso de máquinas tragaperras en el norte de España

Aris Grande-Gosende, Victor Martinez-Loredo, Eduardo García-Cueto, José Ramón Fernández-Hermida


Background: Slots and electronic gaming machines (EGMs) are the most addictive gambling activities. The Spanish regulation allows venues of the hospitality sector to operate slot machines. Despite this high availability and accessibility, no data exists on the number of slot users and their associated characteristics. Aim: To describe the profile of slot users in public venues and to estimate the prevalence of slot machine use. Method: An observational study was performed using a randomized cluster sampling in Northern Spain. Several personal, drinking and gambling-related variables were recorded. Census data were used to estimate the number of slot users. Results: A total of 89 users were observed (94.4% males). Participants aged 18-35 were more likely to gamble with others and those aged +50 tended to gamble alone. Lone gamblers were more likely to gamble persistently. Slot users represented 4.28% of the total population, most of them male (94.38%) between the ages of 26 and 35 (6.13% of their age group). Conclusions: EGM use is more prevalent in young adults. Observational designs are adequate for exploring in vivo gambling behaviors. The high addictive potential of EGMs calls for preventive actions aimed at reducing their high availability and accessibility within the Spanish context.

Palabras clave

Slot machines; EGM; Gambling; Accessibility

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20882/adicciones.1315

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