Gambling Disorders 360°

Exploring the latest news, issues and research relating to gambling disorders and responsible gaming

The Internet Gambling Debate: Is Research the Missing Ingredient?

by: Institute Staff | Sep 30, 2010

The “Room for Debate” section of The New York Times recently posed the question, “Should Internet gambling be legalized?” Several respondents identified an increase in gambling addiction as the probable outcome if Congress lifts the current ban on online gambling in the United States. The belief that the easy access and social isolation of Internet gambling make it an especially risky behavior has become conventional wisdom. However, the question remains: are these concerns based on speculation or scientific research?

This month’s edition of Issues & Insights addresses this question in a summary of an article recently published in Addiction Research and Theory. The article reviewed the state of research on online gambling and discusses the groundbreaking investigations of the betting patterns of customers of the European wagering site bwin. Led by Dr. Howard Shaffer, director of the Division on Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, the research on the actual betting transactions of bwin subscribers offers a pioneering methodology beyond the limits of self-report and offers some unexpected findings about the behavior patterns of those who bet on sports, poker and casino games on the Internet. Read more about this research in September’s Issues and Insights. As always, we welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

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  I gamble (occasionally) but

I gamble (occasionally) but I am not addicted and never have been and never will be. I gamble mainly for research and ‘part entertainment’ and to find out if the Law Of Attraction works in every part of life. My research for an extensive article about gambling and the Law Of Attraction for my blog has brought me here, which is no surprise as I desire to attract the ‘best information’ available for my readers. I am very grateful I’ve found your article about addictive behaviors in the first place, even if I know that science has still a long way to go before they will understand the full capacity of the human brain and it’s wanted or un- wanted side effects.
So far you seem to have got it right and it makes sense what you write if compared with thousands of years of old knowledge-passed down in secret ways- (unfortunately most scientist have great minds, but get distracted at a certain point via their society-trained ego which only knows the past and constructs its own past based future, when left alone without the power of mind control.)
Please keep up the good work-I think you have a great future in giving society a breakthrough in understanding (and accepting, as a result) the reasons for humans to be addictive…As addiction does not exist in nature.

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