Online Gambling is a rapidly growing form of gambling that offers consumers a convenient, safe and flexible way to gamble. Unlike traditional casino-based gambling, which is limited to land-based venues, online casinos allow players to access gaming from any location with an Internet connection, including home, work and even on mobile devices. As a result, many people are turning to online gambling as an affordable and accessible pastime. However, there are several important factors that should be considered before participating in this type of gambling.
According to a recent study, a quarter of all online gamblers have lost money at one time or another. Moreover, those who have lost the most money are more likely to have serious problems with their gambling and may need treatment.
The study, which was published in the journal “Psychology of Addictive Behaviors,” was conducted by University of Connecticut researchers George T. Ladd and Nancy M. Petry. They surveyed individuals who sought free or low-cost medical and dental services at the university, which included a large percentage of internet gamblers. The participants in the non-treatment-seeking group were asked to complete questionnaires and to provide contact details for help services, while those who sought treatment were interviewed by phone by a researcher or a provisionally registered psychologist. Interviews lasted for between 45 and 60 minutes and were professionally transcribed.
Both groups were screened for problematic gambling behaviour and had to report having gambled at least once in their lifetime. In addition, participants were asked about their current level of gambling involvement and whether they had ever experienced harmful effects from gambling. Results from the non-treatment-seeking group indicated that they had not experienced detrimental effects, while those who had sought help reported that their gambling was disrupting their lives. The results from the treatment-seeking group indicated that industry changes over the last decade had undermined self-regulatory efforts and exacerbated harmful behaviours amongst those who had been struggling to maintain or regain control of their gambling.
Another factor that has facilitated the rise of online gambling is the proliferation of payment methods, which allows users to pay for goods and services without providing their credit card details. Various companies offer these services, including PayPal and Neteller. In order to minimise the risk of online gambling transactions being made, some credit card associations have agreed not to do business with these companies unless they agree not to use these services to facilitate online gambling.
Despite the lockdown on online gambling, many people continue to gamble, with 80% of those surveyed reporting having gambled on the Internet in the past year. Unsurprisingly, at home was the most common place for this to have taken place, but it is also worth noting that one in five online gamblers reported having gambled away from home, most commonly in a pub or club.
Compared to other forms of gambling, online poker is the most popular, with two-thirds of respondents having played this game in the past year. Other popular games included online roulette and blackjack. Interestingly, fewer than half of those surveyed reported having placed bets on sporting events.