Harvard: Online Gamblers More DisciplinedPublished April 22, 2009 by OCR Editor
Majority of online gamblers are gambling in a more moderate manner than they were in the 1970s.
The majority of online gamblers are gambling in a more moderate and disciplined manner than they were in the 1970s, according to a new report by the director of the Harvard Medical School's Addictions Department.
The results of Dr. Howard Shaffer's research, which was conducted in conjunction with Austrian-based online gambling company Bwin, show that problem gambling has not increased despite the increase in the amount of general gambling in the United States since the 1970s.
In fact, it was found that the proportion of problem gamblers among the population had actually dropped - from 0.7 percent of the population in the 1970s to 0.6 percent of the population today.
"The very first thing we learned, which we didn't expect, was that the vast majority, the overwhelming majority, of gamblers online gamble in a very moderate and mild way," Dr. Shaffer said.
Dr. Shaffer added that preventing people from gambling online would probably not be effective in reducing problem gambling. He said education and public awareness programs would be more successful in attempts to keep gambling safe from such problems.
The report will come as a timely boost for pro-gambling US lawmakers in their push to overturn the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which effectively banned Internet gambling by outlawing the transfer of funds from a financial institution to Internet gambling sites.