Online Gambling leads to responsible gaming

Posted By: Date: 07/16/2014 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

For a long time, the problem with gambling is that for some, it’s “too addictive”. Gambling addiction is a very real thing, and it’s ruined a lot of lives. Now that online gambling is legalized in several states, many worry that it just feeds the gambling addiction and that it’ll ruin their lives.

In a new study that was recently released, however, it was revealed that wasn’t the case. Not only are people not addicted to online gambling, but they’re showing one thing that people in land-based casinos aren’t. Those that gamble online are showing a tremendous amount of hesitancy and restraint when gambling.

The studies, which were done over a two year period by Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addiction, were done to provide public policy makers with empirical data about Internet gambling. The data covers sports bettors, poker players, and casino gamblers.

The data showed one truth: online gamblers gambled infrequently, and when they did bet, it was in moderation. As expected, there was a small group of players (between one and five percent) that exhibited traits of addiction, but the other ninety five to ninety nine percent of players showed restraint.

The study examined the traits of more than 4,000 casino gamblers. The median betting frequency over nine months was about once every two weeks, and the median outcome was a 5.5 percent loss. Sports bettors were shown to place roughly two and a half bets of $5.50 every four days. For the people that played poker, they played roughly five hours over a period of six months.

The data presents a not-so-shocking bit of trivia that most of us already know but lawmakers have been blind to: online gambling is not the addictive, evil business that they claim it to be. The people studied gambled responsibly, safely, and most importantly, sporadically. They didn’t ruin their lives, they didn’t bet their entire life savings, and they certainly didn’t become addicted.

Howard Shaffer and Ryan Martin, who worked on the study, wrote that “when new opportunities to gamble are introduced into an area, there is a short term increase in gambling behavior, but the frenzy eventually subsides and returns to normal levels. In the case of Internet gambling, many people simply acclimate to the increased availability of betting options or become quickly tired of it – sometimes in a matter of weeks.”

This data directly contradicts what lawmakers have long said about online gambling. The facts don’t lie – even though sites offer more bonuses than land-based casinos, such as no deposit bonuses, people aren’t getting addicted and ruining their lives.

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