The latest study into problem gambling in Australia has turned up some interesting results with regard to online poker and other similar pursuits.
The image of endless rows of pokie playing punters blowing all their money in the clubs, pubs and hotels is one that the Australian government is committed to bringing to an end. At the same time, the online version of this evil scourge on society is seen as an even more massive problem that can only be dealt with by draconian measures.
Interestingly, a recent study into problem gambling by the University of Sydney has shown that these variants of gambling are not actually the major problem everyone seems to think they are. In fact it turns out that the supposed lesser gambling evil of the more socially accepted sports betting is the real culprit. The study was conducted with its main aim being to better understand the country’s problem gambling issues.
It concluded that because of the easy availability of sports betting afforded by the Internet along with the hugely expanded range of options for bettors, it has become more difficult for those already with problems to control their gambling habits. The study also found that casino games as well as poker have far less of an addictive effect than sports betting. This is because there are often emotionally driven factors associated with sports betting, such as backing a favourite team or supported players.
The study has already altered some opinions about how the Internet influences gamblers. Instead of laying the blame for the increase in problem gambling squarely in the Internet, analysts have revealed that sports betting itself has actually been the cause of these issues surfacing.
Proponents for bringing an end to online gambling’s prohibition in the USA will be certain to make use of these results as ammunition in supporting their particular cause. Commenting on the findings of the study, Brad Dawkins, a gaming analyst said that it is quite clear that online poker does not represent the moral threat that a number of US lawmakers have made it appear.
University of Sydney’s Psychology Professor, Alex Blaszczynski said that the traditional image of a gambler sitting down for many hours using a poker machine being synonymous with problem gambling has now been shown to no longer be the case in a great many situations. The results of the study will be reviewed by government ministers involved in the gambling reform issue.