New Study Refutes Online Gambling-Problem Gambling ConnectionPublished May 12, 2015 by Amir G
New study disproves claims that online gambling encourages problem gambling and addiction, pointing at other factors for possible root causes.
Online gambling has seen exponential growth in the past few years with millions around the world playing in online casinos and enjoying online sports betting on the biggest sporting events. Strides made in the fields of online casino software, renewed regulation in many countries and the advent of mobile devices and online gambling compatibility has truly shaped casinos into something that everyone can enjoy at the comfort of their home.
Naturally, the growth of online gambling has also spawned new opponents whose claims range anywhere from legitimate to blatant and outright ridiculous, like Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) comparison of internet gambling to "crack cocaine".
Problem Gambling Disconnected from Online Gambling
These claims of online gambling opponents are challenged again and again by academic studies that show no connection between online gambling and any increase of problem gambling. This wall of academic evidence is joined by a new study coming from Australia's Southern Cross University.
Authored by Dr. Sally Gainsbury of the university's Centre for Gambling Education & Research, the study overviews recent researches about the alleged connection between iGaming and the development of gambling addiction. The study's conclusions find that there is little to no concrete evidence to suggest that problem gambling has increased together with online gambling and in direct relation to it.
Live Gambling the Main Culprit
Gainsbury indicates that online gamblers might have lower rates of gambling problems than those who bet offline at brick and mortar casinos and land based betting establishments. According to Gainsbury, most problematic online gamblers that come up in different researches are usually offline gamblers who have developed the problematic gambling behavior from live gambling, carrying it on online.
Moreover, Gainsbury notes that analysis across 30 European jurisdictions shows that there is no association between online gambling prohibition and problem gambling rates.
Pros of Online Gambling
The study also discusses the pros of internet gambling in creating a safer and cleaner gambling environment. Gainsbury stresses that while gambling online, players have a wider range of tools at their disposal in order to moderate their gaming.