Online Gambling and Problem Gambling

Online Gamling

Online Gamling involves playing games and placing bets through the Internet. It’s a fun and exciting way to gamble, but it can also be addictive. It is important to understand the signs of an addiction to Online Gambling and to get help if you think you are struggling with it.

Online gambling has become increasingly common in recent years. It offers a wide variety of gambling products and is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. This has increased the intensity of online gambling, with greater breadth and depth of involvement, frequent promotional activities and extensive marketing [2, 3]. These changes have raised concerns about the potential for excessive gambling and the emergence of problems associated with it.

Many Internet gamblers have reported that their gambling experiences have changed as a result of these changes. However, little research has explored how these changes are influencing contemporary gambling experiences. To understand these changes, this study interviewed treatment-seeking and non-treatment seeking Internet gamblers about their gambling histories and current online gambling behaviours. The interviews were semi-structured and utilised questions and prompts to encourage participants to consider how their online gambling experiences had been influenced by changes in operators’ practices, products and environments.

The most significant change has been the ‘industrialisation’ of online gambling, with the emergence of a complex ecosystem characterised by large multi-national gambling operators, extensive promotion, digitalisation of betting products and increased advertising sponsorship and commercialisation. These changes have raised concerns about the impact of online gambling on problem gambling and the emergence of new types of problems.

These trends are reflected in the growing number of individuals who seek treatment for gambling-related problems. In addition, the growth of online gambling has also prompted some people with a gambling disorder to try to self-regulate their gambling via websites that provide harm minimisation tools. However, these sites have a number of limitations that may limit their effectiveness. For example, they often offer multiple methods of payment and may not always use secure connections (look for the padlock icon in the window frame and an address that starts with ‘https’). Moreover, many of these sites are open 24 hours a day, so it is easy for those with a gambling problem to continue gambling even after they have used up their free credits.

Other factors that may affect gambling outcomes include the fact that Internet gamblers are more likely to be isolated from other players, and that they are often unable to control the timing of their gaming sessions. This could lead to uncontrolled play and disrupted sleeping and eating patterns. In addition, the constant availability of online gambling is a source of concern, as it makes it easy for people with a problem to hide their behaviour from family and friends. Consequently, it is essential that responsible gambling strategies are developed for the Internet, including brief online interventions and in-depth online treatments programmes. Additionally, online self-exclusion programmes should be made available.