People with mental health problems are more likely to have problem gambling, an intersection of two common sources of social disadvantage. Despite this relationship, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Exploring these mechanisms is important to understand whether people with mental health problems are more susceptible to developing problem gambling and identify targets for policy to reduce the risk of problem gambling for people with mental health problems.
This study implemented a novel Discrete Choice Experiment to explore how mental health influences decision making while gambling online on horse racing. The survey captured how features of the online gambling market such as the odds and marketing strategies affect choice of both (i) race and (ii) horse, and how mental health influences this. From the results, it can be inferred how mental health affects gambling traits such as the propensity to gamble as an escape, risk preferences, and the influence of marketing strategies, which can provide important evidence for the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between mental health and problem gambling.