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Will Online Gambling Lead to Increased Problem Gambling?

Will Online Gambling Lead to Increased Problem Gambling?

For the third year in a row the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) survey of casinos showed increased rates of gambling growth. Now, with the growth of legalized online gambling in the US many are wondering about the levels of gambling addiction.

While a recent poll conducted by the AGA showed that about 85% of Americans consider gambling an acceptable pastime, many are worried that as gambling becomes ever more accessible the negative side effects will increase.

Will Online Gambling Lead to Increased Problem Gambling?

With the spread of online gambling, many are worried that rates of gambling addiction will shoot up.

Robert Williams, a specialist from the Alberta Gambling Research Institute, explained that gambling events which happen infrequently (e.g. the lottery) have very low addiction rates.

However, slot machines which will stimulate gamblers multiple times a minute are far more addictive. Williams said, “Online formats are delivering the most continuous forms of play at the highest frequency of reinforcement.”

On the other hand, those with gambling addictions will always manage to find an outlet for their addiction.

As John Pappas the head of the Poker Players Alliance said, “All sorts of Internet gambling has been happening. But they’re preying on problem gamblers and they’re not accountable to regulators and government.”

At least through a regulated industry, it will be easier to monitor those with gambling addictions and offer them the required help and support.

OCA News Editor