Online Gambling and Problem Gambling

Online Gamling

Online Gambling is an activity in which people place bets on a variety of casino games over the internet. This type of gambling is very addictive and can lead to serious mental health issues. In addition, online gambling can cause financial problems. People who engage in this addictive behaviour may experience withdrawal symptoms, including depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness and increased anxiety. In severe cases, a person’s life can become unmanageable and they may not be able to function well. It is important to seek help if you are concerned that your gambling is becoming problematic.

Problematic online gambling is not only a risk to the gambler, but also to family and friends. It can have a serious effect on a person’s mental health, leading to depression and anxiety, as well as having a negative impact on relationships with family and friends. It is often difficult for an individual to admit they have a problem, but there are organisations that can offer support and advice.

Several studies have reported that Internet gambling is associated with gambling problems, although it is important to note that the majority of these studies are cross-sectional in design and therefore cannot establish causality. Additionally, many of the reports are based on self-report, which can be inaccurate. In general, however, a third to half of people with gambling problems report that they started gambling on the Internet and over a quarter specifically attribute this to Internet gambling.

The majority of the studies that have been conducted on the relationship between online gambling and problem gambling have included adolescents. However, there is considerable inconsistency in the past-year prevalence estimates of problematic online gambling in adolescents, largely due to differences in samples, the defined timeframe and the type of assessment instrument used (diagnostic, screening or severity scale).

One common pattern of problematic online gambling is ‘chasing losses’. This occurs when a person attempts to regain money that they have lost by placing more bets, in the hope that they will eventually turn their fortunes around. This can lead to a cycle of financial ruin and emotional distress.

Identifying, detecting and acting on early risk indicators can reduce gambling-related harms sustained by problem gamblers. This may be particularly useful in the context of online gambling, where behavioural characteristics are more likely to manifest as problems than in land-based gambling environments. In order to develop this approach, further research is needed into gambling-specific risk indicators, in particular the role of game-specific characteristics and the influence of social and environmental factors. This research should be undertaken in collaboration between researchers, operators and regulators. It is also important to examine whether interventions can be delivered in a responsible manner via the Internet. This will require cooperation between independent researchers to design and evaluate such strategies, operators to enable access to data and implement procedures, and regulators to enforce responsible gambling policies. A further requirement is for brief and in-depth online interventions, as well as online self-exclusion programmes, to be developed.