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

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 22:38 authored by Garea, SS, Drummond, A, James SauerJames Sauer, Hall, LC, Williams, MA
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.


The Royal Society of New Zealand


Publication title

International Gambling Studies






School of Psychological Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

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

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in psychology