Is Internet betting the root cause of gambling addictions? One study bets against it
Did you hear the news? Internet gambling is addictive and dangerous. At least that’s what politicians across the United States keep trumpeting, supported by billionaires like Sheldon Adelson who believe that land-based gambling is morally acceptable but that Internet betting is full of dangers like gambling addiction.
But a new study out of Australia has scientifically proven that not to be the case. A recent study by Dr. Sally Gainsbury of Southern Cross University in Australia seems to suggest that online gambling does not directly cause gambling problems.
One of the key findings in the study reveals that problem gambling seems to originate primarily in the land-based gambling world, not online as many anti-gambling politicians would have us all believe. This suggests that ordinary people don’t just one day discover Internet gambling and become addicted. Instead, it suggests that problem gamblers develop their addictions in the real world and then migrate to online gambling.
“Evidence is emerging that Internet gambling is not only not predictive of gambling problems,” the study reports, “but that when other variables are controlled for individuals who gamble, online may have lower rates of gambling problems.”
What are these other variables that are controlled? Well, at Palace of Chance we have quite a few:
- Deposit Limits: We limit the amount you can deposit per day, week, and month. If you go over your limit, you can’t deposit more. It’s that simple. In the live world, feel free to max out your credit cards and empty all your bank accounts. The dealer at the tables won’t say a word.
- Betting Limits: These work in tandem with betting limits. You can only risk a certain amount of money at the tables. There are table maximums online. Yes, they exist in the land-based world too. But they tend to be a lot higher. What’s more, at online casinos, the table minimums are lower. That means your losses have the potential to be a lot smaller, which means you are less likely to chase them.
- Self Exclusion: If you think you have a gambling problem, you can ask us to ban you. And that means when you try to log in or create a new account under the same name with the same ID, you won’t be let in, plain and simple. In the live world, the only thing stopping those who have self-excluded themselves is, well, nothing.
The study doesn’t necessarily suggest that people won’t develop online gambling problems. Of course, online gambling sites could be an outlet for those with a problem. But it does suggest that a widespread problem gambling epidemic isn’t actually a real thing.
We’re glad to see common sense and science prevail. We just hope that politicians will actually pay attention to it.