Interesting article in today’s ANZ Bloodstock News regarding Online Gambling …
Researchers at the Southern Cross University’s Centre for Gambling Education and Research have concluded that online gambling is the fastest growing format of wagering in Australia, writes Darryl Sherer.
The objective of the present study was to explore the characteristics of Internet gamblers in comparison to non-Internet gamblers to determine whether individuals using this medium represent a distinct subgroup of gamblers.
This study aimed to further the understanding of the impact of Internet gambling in Australia and provide results that may guide key stake holders, including policy makers, regulators, researchers, treatment providers, and industry groups, in forming an appropriate response to Internet gambling.
Researchers surveyed 6,500 online gamblers, and found that half of them started playing online in the past six years. Lead researcher Dr Sally Gainsbury says that means Australians are taking up online punting and gaming faster than any other form of gambling.
“Internet gambling actually does offer unique risks compared to other forms of gambling.” Dr Gainsbury said. “Because it’s available all the time, it’s private and you can gamble without anyone really finding out, people are saying that, half the internet gamblers, problem internet gamblers said that it disrupted their sleep and around a third reported it disrupted their eating.”
It is estimated Australians now spend $600 million a year on online gambling with 16 percent of the participants in the Southern Cross study deemed to be problem gamblers. Dr Gainsbury is calling for more measures to be put in place to ensure that responsibility in gambling is exercised. “Similar to the efforts put into making sure that the pokies are played in as safe a way as possible, there needs to be more responsible gambling strategies for online.
“We should be seeing pop up messages telling people how long they’ve been playing for and how much they’ve been spending.”
University of Sydney Psychology professor Alex Blaszczynski, who collaborated with Gainsbury, said, “While internet gambling has been around since the 1990s, its popularity has soared in the past few years with clear trends indicating an increasing number of participants starting to gamble online.”