Sedentary behaviour, exhibited by a lack of physical activity, may also be a factor relevant to adolescent SCG players. Although sedentary behaviour has been largely overlooked in studies of monetary gambling behaviours in general, some existing evidence suggests that more substantial periods of inactivity as well as indicators of poor physical health, such as obesity, are positively associated with a propensity toward monetary gambling across all age groups [45, 46]. Additionally, it has been shown that sedentary behaviour is particularly prominent during adolescence, with Canadian adolescents typically spending over 8 h daily engaging in sedentary activities, primarily those involving screens [47,48,49]. Although a pervasiveness in screen HappyLuke time is harmful on its own , it may also increase exposure to online gaming and gambling, and may subsequently result in greater SCG play among this cohort.
An additional factor that may be associated with social casino gaming among adolescents is binge-drinking—the tendency to engage in the heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time with the intention of becoming intoxicated . Binge-drinking has been show to increase during adolescence , and it has been linked to risky activities, including illicit drug use, tobacco use, and physical aggression [53, 54]. Previous studies of adolescents have further reported a significant association between binge-drinking and the risky activity of monetary gambling. Specifically, it has been shown that adolescents with a history of gambling are more likely to have experienced episodes of binge-drinking in the past year . Binge-drinking is also significantly associated with at-risk and pathological gambling among adolescents [56, 57]. Theories of deviance suggest that a general propensity toward risk-taking may explain the typical co-occurrence between alcohol misuses and other risky activities, including gambling, whereby adolescents who seek stimulation and short-term and immediate gratification tend to engage in multiple problem behaviours [58, 59]. If this behavioural pattern extends to social casino gaming, then it is feasible that binge-drinking may also be associated with SCG play among adolescents.
The present study represents one of the first empirical analyses of the characteristics defining adolescent social casino gamers. It is also one of the first studies to examine the factors associated with social casino gaming across different types of SCGs: poker, slots, and SCGs hosted on the social media site Facebook. Poker and slots represent the most popular SCGs among adult samples .