Study Calls for Regulated Online GamblingPublished July 22, 2008 by OCR Editor
Professors from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, made the conclusions after interviewing casino and online gamblers.
Canada and the United States should legalize and regulate online gambling, a study released last Tuesday has said.
The study, conducted jointly by June Cotte, associate professor of marketing at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and Kathryn Latour, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in the USA, concluded that regulation of the online gambling industry would reduce the potential negative effects of online gambling.
The study was done based on the assumption that online gambling is easily accessible, even in countries where it is effectively illegal - such as Canada and the USA - because residents of those countries can simply access a website from countries where online gambling is legal.
It was also assumed that online gamblers are naturally at a higher risk of addiction than their casino gambling counterparts, because of the easy accessibility to online gambling from within the comfort of their own home.
The lack of social interaction, meaning participants are in it only for the gambling, was also cited as increasing the risk of addiction.
Taking into account the reality that online gambling is big business - the study estimated more than $10 billion is spent each year by online gamblers - Cotte and Latour concluded that legalization and regulation, rather than banning, is the right way for the Canadian and US governments to deal with the issue.
Additionally, Cotte and Latour set out some other basic suggestions for the regulation of online gambling, including setting financial limits for participants, requiring online gambling operators to offer information about its dangers via pop-ups, and strictly checking the age of new account-holders.
The conclusions were made after interviews with 20 regular casino gamblers and 10 regular online casino gamblers.