Study Shows No Increase in US Problem GamblingPublished November 14, 2014 by Amir G
A research conducted by the Research Institute on Addictions in the University at Buffalo concludes that there was no increase in problem gambling in the US in the past decade.
The results of a new research in the US show that there has not been an increase in problem gambling in the country in the past decade. These conclusions come in the face of allegations by anti iGaming proponents who warn that online gambling could and does lead to an increase in the number of problem gamblers.
No Significant Change
The study was conducted by Dr. John W. Welte and fellow scientists of the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA). Dubbed "Problem Gambling – A Decade of Change" the study shows that there was no significant change in problem gamblers across the US in the last decade. "We compared results from two nationwide telephone surveys, conducted a decade apart. We found no significant increase in the rates of problem gambling in the U.S., despite a nationwide increase in gambling opportunities," said Dr. Welte.
Fewer Gamblers in the US
The nationwide survey was conducted via telephone interviews with questions about different betting activities. The results show that in the past decade, the number of Americans participating in gambling has dwindled. Compared to the research conducted a decade ago which showed a rate of 82.2 who participated in gambling, the numbers went down to 76.9 in 2011-2013. Similarly, the number of Americans who participated in a gambling activity at least once previous years has went down from 59.50 annual days to 53.7 days.
A possible explanation for the decrease of gamblers provided by Dr. Welte was the hit endured by casinos in the economic crisis of 2008. Welte also suggested that the change could be attributed to the 'theory of adaptation': "That while initial increases in exposure to gambling venues lead to increases in rates of problem gambling, a population will eventually adapt and further negative consequences will not continue," the researcher explained.