The socialization processes of online gambling: experiences of Finnish online gamblers
AbstractThe presentation focuses on the gambling experiences of Finnish online gamblers. It studies the role of social interaction in the processes of learning to gamble, starting to play new games and adopting gaming as part of everyday life. For many players the first gambling experience has taken place in company of parents or grandparents. The role of friends is important in the introduction of new games and playing can be one way of maintaining social relations. Gambling is integrally connected with players? Social networks. Online gambling is often seen as asocial activity. However, different levels of sociality have been connected with online gambling in recent years. Players can interact with each other before, during and/or after playing. The first Finnish online gambling games, which enabled in-game social interaction, were opened in the year 2010. Veikkaus (Finnish Lottery) introduced a new game eBingo and Ray (Finnish Slot-machine Association) opened its online casino and online poker site. Based on the questionnaire data of 409 average players of the new Finnish online gambling games 16 players were selected for thematic interviews. The interviews focused on the social aspects of offline and online gambling. The analysis of interview data reveals that gambling is fundamentally social activity which is learned and experienced in specific socio-cultural frames.