In the present study, adolescents reported spending an average of 3.6 hours daily on activities involving screens. This value exceeds the recommendations of the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Youth, which state that adolescents should limit recreational screen time to no more than 2 hours per day . When sedentary tendencies were assessed in the context of SCG play, it was observed that simulated poker exhibited a unique pattern of associations with screen time in comparison to the other SCG types. Specifically, while it was found that adolescents who spent more time each day watching television, surfing the Internet, or playing computer games were more likely to participate in the SCG of slots and in Facebook SCGs, this same effect was not noted for poker. The finding that screen time may be linked to participation HappyLuke in some social casino gaming is a novel observation that has not been reported in previous assessments of SCG play.
Social casino gaming and problem gambling among adolescents
Existing research, however, has shown that inactivity and subsequent poor physical health are related to monetary gambling in general [45, 46], and therefore the present findings extend these previous observations. Longitudinal analyses are needed, however, to clarify the causal link between SCG play and sedentary tendencies. It may certainly be the case that individuals with more daily screen time are more likely to be exposed to SCGs, and are therefore more likely to take part in them [11, 17]. At the same time, it is also possible that social casino gaming facilitates sedentary tendencies due to the fact SCGs are typically designed to promote extended play and the frequent return of players to SCG host sites or applications . Further research is also needed to better understand the absence of an association between screen time and the tendency to play the SCG of poker. Some findings from investigations of monetary gambling have noted that recreational poker play tends to be characterized by shorter play times, perhaps due to the taxing nature of the game [98, 99]. As a result, it is possible that participation in the SCG of poker—a form of recreational poker—does not entail considerable daily screen exposure. An empirical assessment of these effects, however, is needed.
In examining substance use in the context of SCG play, only one significant effect was observed. Specifically, it was noted that adolescents classified as current smokers had significantly greater odds of playing the SCG of slots in comparison to former smokers and non-smokers. All remaining types of SCGs were not shown to be linked to substance use. While the non-significant association between binge-drinking and social casino gaming echoes previous results obtained from an assessment of adults , the largely absent relationship between tobacco use and social casino gaming stands in contrast to previous findings observed among adults . In studies of monetary gambling, theories of deviance have attributed the typical co-occurrence between gambling and substance use to a general propensity toward risk-taking and the seeking of short-term rewards [59, 94]. These same theories, however, do not appear to extend to SCG play. It may be the case that SCGs are considered insufficiently stimulating for individuals with a propensity toward sensation-seeking, perhaps due to the absence of monetary wins and losses in these games. Instead, these SCGs may attract less impulsive individuals who are not drawn to risky activities, including substance use.