Online Gamling is a common form of gambling that enables users to bet from home or any other location. This includes sports betting, online poker and casino games. It is also a popular form of entertainment for many people, with most online gambling sites promoting responsible gambling.
The emergence of Internet gambling has prompted concerns that this mode of access may contribute to harmful gambling behaviour and addictions. Research and regulation are in need of further development to understand the impact of this new mode of access on problem gamblers’ experience and incidence of problems, as well as how to improve prevention and treatment strategies.
One recent study compared gambling behavioural data to self-report of gambling problems and found that highly involved gamblers were at higher risk than less involved gamblers for a range of gambling-related disorders . In addition, a recent European study with an innovative methodology of self-report screen with behavioural data revealed that the breadth of involvement (types of games played) is related to gambling problems in general, but not with specific types of Internet gambling.
However, this is a small sample size and the findings of these studies are limited in their use of statistical methods. This could be a reason why behavioural data does not provide clear evidence for identifying high-risk individuals who are likely to suffer from gambling problems.
The development of faster financial transactions facilitated the increase in online gambling. Non-treatment seekers reported that these changes made it easier to place bets and to deposit and withdraw funds, making online gambling more attractive. Treatment-seekers, however, described more negative effects. They reported that the ability to transfer money more easily and instantly triggered impulsive betting, which resulted in large losses and increased the temptation to gamble again.
These changes exacerbated the risk of gambling-related harm, which is often difficult to overcome. For example, if a person’s finances are compromised, they can lose their savings and become vulnerable to credit card fraud. This can be especially distressing if the person has not previously been a gambling addict, as they are unaware of the extent and severity of the problem.
A recent survey of Australian youth indicated that high school-aged males continued to be the most frequent users of online gambling. This included a significantly higher proportion of males who bet on sports than females.
There are a number of risks associated with online gambling, such as the potential for fraud and scams, and the risk of criminal activity. If you are worried about the safety of your online gambling, GamCare is a free and confidential service that can offer advice and support.
Although there are many benefits to gambling, it is important to remember that it can be addictive and can lead to serious financial, social and psychological problems. The best way to prevent these is to make sure that you are using a reputable, licensed site.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a gambling problem, seek professional help from a therapist. There are a wide range of services available, including online and offline treatment programmes.