Online Gambling is a form of gambling in which the participants place wagers on various events and outcomes using electronic payment systems. Online gambling has become increasingly popular and is a multi-billion dollar industry in many countries. Although there are many benefits of online gambling, there are also some risks that people should be aware of before they gamble. These risks include addiction, monetary harm, and social harms. It is important to recognize the warning signs of online gambling addiction and seek help when needed.
There are many ways to treat online gambling addiction. Often, treatment involves therapy and support groups. In severe cases, patients may be placed in an inpatient rehabilitation program. This is often the best option for individuals who are battling a severe addiction and need more structure in their lives.
The research involved semi-structured interviews with 20 non-treatment seeking and 19 treatment-seeking Internet gamblers who gambled mainly on sports and races, using their smartphones. Participants were asked about how their gambling behaviours and experiences had been influenced by changes in: operator practices (advertising, inducements, gambling products and financial transactions); personal factors including social desirability and denial; and the wider gambling environment including technology and peer pressures.
Almost all of the interviewees reported that their gambling had improved since they started gambling online, and around half specifically attributed these improvements to Internet gambling. However, as most Internet gamblers were already experiencing problems, this mode of gambling was likely to exacerbate those difficulties rather than be the proximal cause of them. It is therefore important to develop and test strategies that are specific to Internet gamblers, focusing on the identification, detection and response to early risk indicators.
The research highlighted a number of issues that are unique to the online gambling environment, such as the blurring of home and work life, the availability of multiple accounts, and the constant interruptions from notifications. These issues will need to be addressed in order to improve responsible gambling policies and reduce the harms associated with online gambling. In addition, it is important to focus on identifying and testing interventions that are specifically relevant to Internet gamblers, such as online self-exclusion programs. This is a complex undertaking that will require cooperation between researchers and operators to enable access to appropriate data, as well as to implement procedures and processes that are tailored to this population. It will also be necessary to ensure that the online gambling industry is committed to improving consumer protection measures.