Retention and Relapse in Gambling Self-help Communities on Reddit

Niklas Hopfgartner*, Thorsten Ruprechter*, Denis Helic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Problem gambling endangers the mental health and financial stability of those affected. Individuals who are trying to overcome this problematic behavior often seek support in self-help groups, whether offline or online. Although online gambling self-help groups have become increasingly prominent in recent years, research is still needed to fully understand the social interactions and effectiveness of this medium. In this paper, we analyze behavior of problem gamblers in two gambling self-help communities on Reddit. In particular, following social impact theory, we quantify the strength, frequency, and promptness of users’ social interactions and measure their effects on problem gamblers’ retention in the community, as well as on their relapse to gambling. Firstly, we find that the magnitude of the community response, and a higher response from users who currently sustain prolonged gambling-free periods are positively associated with retention in the community. Secondly, our relapse analysis indicates that users who engage more strongly in discussions following their own submissions have a lower risk of gambling relapse. We believe that our findings provide useful insights on how to improve support for problem gamblers in online self-help communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Informatics - 13th International Conference, SocInfo 2022, Proceedings
EditorsFrank Hopfgartner, Kokil Jaidka, Philipp Mayr, Joemon Jose, Jan Breitsohl
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-19097-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-19096-4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2022
Event13th International Conference on Social Informatics: SocInfo 2022 - University of Glasgow's Adam Smith Business School and School of Computing Science, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Oct 202221 Oct 2022
Conference number: 13

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
Volume13618 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference13th International Conference on Social Informatics
Abbreviated titleSocInfo 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Social Impact
  • Problem Gambling
  • Online self-help groups
  • Problem gambling
  • Social impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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